The author who wrote the novel inspiring the award-winning movie ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ is returning to his Bronx roots.
Novelist Avery Corman will be speaking at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on Saturday, November 8 as part of the museum’s Back in the Bronx series.
Corman, the author of several novels including ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ and ‘The Old Neighborhood’, recently published his first memoir, called ‘My Old Neighborhood Remembered’.
The memoir explores Corman’s experience growing up in the Bronx in the 1940s and 1950s, which he felt was an important story to tell at this point in his life.
“This is my time to do it,” he said. “While I’m still remembering, and still have the ability to get it out.”
The book recounts Corman’s childhood in his neighborhood near Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse during and after World War II.
There was a certain kind of neighborhood life at the time, said Corman, when there were fewer cars and no television, so children would play outside everyday.
“The streets were flooded with children,” said Corman, and they would play games like stickball, box ball, and jump rope for hours.
The memoir also describes the ways in which the war affected many aspects of day-to-day life, said Corman, and details other cultural touchstones like going to the movie theaters to see each new release.
“It’s a good record of a time and place,” Corman said of the memoir. “Many things I talk about have vanished from the culture, and they’re never coming back.”
At the Back in the Bronx event, Corman will screen a short documentary film he made in connection with the memoir, in which he visits important locations from his youth including P.S. 33, the Lowes Paradise Theater, and the street he played stickball on as a kid. After the short film, Corman will take questions from the audience.
One of the subjects that is brought up often with Corman is his novel ‘Kramer Vs. Kramer’, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film and credited with changing the cultural conversation around divorce in the 1970s.
Corman said people often think the story was inspired by a divorce of his own, but in fact he and his only wife have been married for 37 years, although his parents were divorced.
The book was actually inspired by some of the anti-male rhetoric coming out of the women’s movement in the 1970s, which Corman said he felt was unjustified based on his family life and the lives of men around him.
“I wanted to show that men could be good fathers too,” he said about the book.
Corman said he’s looking forward to event at Bronx Museum of the Arts where he will speak about his life in the Bronx and his work.
“It’s fun to talk about this stuff,” said Corman.
The event will take place at noon. Tickets are free for museum members and $10 for non-members, and includes lunch.