Alfred Kazin is a teacher and literary critic, author of that excellent It is called “A Walker in the City” and it is Mr. Kazin’s loving and artfully. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene in , when his first book, ” On “A Walker in the City,” his second, signaled the other direction his career. More than six decades after its initial publication, Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City () occupies a curious place in the canons of Jewish-American and.

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Get A Walker in the City from Amazon. No trivia or quizzes yet. I read this about a decade ago, and forgot all about it until today. This book evokes some of those memories of when people rarely left their neighborhoods-they had everything they needed within a one or two block area. In his beautifully modulated prose, one of the hallmarks of Kazin’s oeuvre, he remembers the even spacing of horse dung in the street, the regular pat of a ball bouncing against a wall, all the sights and food smells of clamoring businesses and play around him recorded as rhythmically as a boy’s steps on a sidewalk.

Anyone interested in the s or the history of New York should read this book, but it’s worth reading and re-reading for the language alone. Nov 04, Cort Gross rated it it wa,ker amazing. He can write something that’s nostalgic and even sentimental, but make it moving instead cuty cloying, and that’s a rare gift indeed. Just couldn’t get into it. I requested a copy from my library system, and was taken aback to find that it was a first edition, printed and bought ina worn hardcover with exposed cardboard edges and a peeling fabric spine.

The author’s coming teh age story from Brownsville in Dity to the outside world in a poetic odyssy.

Rather, it was a pointed — even a polemical — response to literary and political ideas that had been of deep concern to Kazin iazin as early as the mids, the tumultuous decade in which he began his career as a writer and critic. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.



At that time, I looked around for his other work, and read about A Walker in the Cityand about how well-regarded it was. Eventually its number came up: Account Options Sign in.


It begins, “Every time I go back to Brownsville it is as if I had never been away. And to alfres day, thre waller people who have never left their neighborhoods. I’ve never been much of a fan of memoirs, something about them has never resonated with me. Despite its age, the book offers what I still consider the most accurate description of the soul and rhythm of life in New York. Be the first to discover new talent!

A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin

I recognize similarities between his ‘s Brooklyn Jewish experience to my ‘s queens Italian background including the garment district and the immigrant enclaves. The room was citt wild with light, it made me tremble; I could not believe my eyes. My problem is that I’m not very interested in most of the people whose memoirs seem the most marketable. Kazin is a ravenous reader and a lonely young man, hungry for ideas and fantasies and art and grandeur that exists beyond the bounds of his close, poor, assured Jewish world.

Our front door was open, to let in air; you could hear the boys on the roof scuffing their shoes against the gravel. Kazin has a remarkable gift for turning a phrase.

As he moves further into the first section of the narrative subtitled “From the Subway to the Synagogue”the author begins book-long, in-depth considerations of his experiences of growing up Jewish, of his hardscrabble family life, and his longings for a life “beyond” the physical, spiritual, and moral constrictions of that which he lives in Brownsville.

One example from near the end, during the very hot summer of his sixteenth year: As part of those considerations, the author contemplates his experiences attending a Christian-oriented school, entering for the first time a Christian church, and coping with a speech impediment.


Kazin’s loving and artfully written evocation of his childhood in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Apr 04, Andrew added it Shelves: Descriptions of his mother’s friends hint at his emerging sexuality.

The synagogue and the busy family kitchen are early centers of life. Published March 19th by Mariner Books first published His wife was wearing a flower print dress, and had her hair all done up.

This kind of light, aesthetic writing only works when it feels genuine, and to me it fails miserably when it seems like a kind of artifice designed to elicit sentimentality in the reader.

As I walk those familiarly choked streets at dusk and see the old women sitting in front of the tenements, past and present become each other’s faces; I am back where I began.

As a New Yorker, and a lover of New York history, this stood out to me, but I think it really has universal appeal. Allowed me to live another person’s discovery of life and words through walking the streets of East Brooklyn and beyond. Kazin doesn’t even convey a clear idea about what kind of little boy he was himself, beyond his conscientious industry, his passion for books and his powers of observation and memory.

Aug 23, Cify Arbesfeld rated it it was amazing.

A Walker in the City

Alfred Kazin speaks to our conscience through h This book was an extraordinary read. The word was my agony. No individuals are characterized with more than an apt phrase or an wxlker tribute. Books by Alfred Kazin. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Mar 01, Christinep rated it it was amazing.