Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

Take a trip through vintage New York by reading these novels by Salinger, Fitzgerald and more.

0

Comments

Add +

Where better to get a sense of what vintage New York was like than through literature? Check out our reading list of the best vintage New York books, including work by J.D. Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Patti Smith and other authors.


RECOMMENDED: All vintage New York coverage


  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1890s: The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
    Any woman who’s tried to make it—financially or romantically—in the big city will find a kindred spirit in doomed, determined Lily Bart, as she negotiates the social ladder of New York on the cusp of a new century.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1900s: Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow
    This bustling historical epic may hop all over the globe, but its heart is in NYC and its environs, from the slums of the Lower East Side to the wealthy suburbs of Westchester.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1910s: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
    Remember when Williamsburg was a poor immigrant neighborhood? Us neither, but Smith paints a vivid portrait of poverty and community through the struggles of Francie Nolan and her family.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1920s: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
    New York, Long Island and the polluted purgatory in between form the spine of Fitzgerald’s novel, which portrays an age of decadence as memorable for its gaudy beauty as for its nihilism.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1930s: Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
    Depression-era Harlem comes to brilliant, turbulent life in Ellison’s novel, written in loose, jazzy prose, about one African-American man’s quest for identity in a hostile world.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1940s: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
    This dynamic, lore-rich story of two Jewish kids breaking into the comic-book industry in NYC is about the coming of age of not only its heroes, but the city itself.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1950s: The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
    Cranky, horny Holden Caulfield has become one of the most iconic narrators in American literature; it’s from his unhinged, phoniness-allergic perspective that we see midcentury Manhattan in all its splendor and hypocrisy.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1960s: Just Kids, Patti Smith
    From the Chelsea Hotel to Max’s Kansas City, Smith’s memoir of her early years in Gotham evokes a downtown scene at the height of its creative powers, and the artists, musicians and writers that populated it.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1970s: The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem
    Lethem cemented himself as the bard of Brooklyn with this semiautobiographical tome, about his childhood in pregentrification Boerum Hill and the colorful array of characters who lived there.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1980s: American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
    The greed-is-good ’80s have been lampooned plenty, but nowhere more viciously than in this Wall Street–set tale of a bored investment banker who moonlights as a serial killer.

  • Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

    1990s: Poseur, Marc Spitz
    Spitz captures the Lower East Side in its last days of authentic grittiness in this memoir about his twenties, misspent among drugs, rock & roll and more ’90s cultural icons than you can shake a giant cell phone at.

Visit vintage New York through the decades with these books

1890s: The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
Any woman who’s tried to make it—financially or romantically—in the big city will find a kindred spirit in doomed, determined Lily Bart, as she negotiates the social ladder of New York on the cusp of a new century.


Users say

0 comments