The Colossus of New York: A City in Thirteen Parts by Colson Whitehead
Most books about a place work either as a history or a travelogue. However, neither description applies when highly acclaimed Colson Whitehead (author of John Henry Days and a recipient of a MacArthur or “Genius” Grant) tackles his home town of New York City in this fascinating psychological romp. Whitehead explores thirteen states of the city, ranging from the subway to rain to Central Park. Rather than following a single plot or tracking various characters, Whitehead chooses to explore the musings, thoughts, and impressions that make up one’s sense of place. This pursuit of essence demands a poetic elasticity that may delight some readers while frustrating others. Highly recommended for aficionados of poetic prose, lovers of cityscapes, and readers interested in introspection about their place in an evolving world.