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‘A Booklover’s Guide to New York’ showcases Bronx literary landmarks

Booklover’s Guide to NY showcases Bronx literary landmarks

Bronx Times
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A soon to be released book will highlight some of the Bronx’s hidden literary locales.

Scheduled for release in October, ‘A Booklover’s Guide to New York’ written by Cleo Le-Tan and illustrated by her father, famous French painter Pierre Le-Tan, is a neighborhood by neighborhood expedition through ‘The Big Apple’ exploring its many innovative bookstores, secret literary landmarks and writers’ favorite watering holes and meeting with the authors, librarians, collectors and bibliophiles who reside there.

The 216 page guide features a six page section dedicated to the Bronx’s literary landmarks and one of its most prominent authors.

“The Bronx is different from Manhattan and Brooklyn,” Le-Tan explained. “While it lacks the selection of bookshops they have, it makes up for it with its history.”

She added that the Bronx has been home to journalism and storytelling legends Don DeLillo, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Higgins Clark and Stan Lee.

“You have some of the greatest American writers who have ever lived come out of the Bronx,” she expressed.

Le-Tan added that throughout the decades the Bronx has served as the setting for many seminal books such as the novel, ‘Billy Bategate’ by E.L. Doctorow.

The Rizzoli-published guide explores such Boogie Down Bronx literary landmarks as the historic Edgar Allan Poe Cottage and The Lit. Bar, the borough’s only bookstore.

Poe Cottage, located at 2640 Grand Concourse, was the final home of the Father of Horror and Mystery and is his only surviving residence.

Le-Tan cited Poe Cottage as her favorite Bronx literary landmark to visit while working on the guide.

“I’m fascinated by his life, which included so much tragedy, romance and madness,” she said.

Founded by lifelong Bronxite Noëlle Santos, The Lit. Bar, located at 131 Alexander Avenue, became the Bronx’s only bookstore following the closure of the borough’s Barnes & Noble bookstore at Bay Plaza in 2016.

An all-in-one bookstore, wine bar and community events space, The Lit. Bar houses a wide array of fiction, nonfiction and poetry most of which are written by local authors.

A seldom-known Bronx literary oasis featured in the guide is the New York Botanical Garden Shop which sells home gardening guides, academic volumes on plant science, coffee-table books of landscape and garden photography and cookbooks for readers interested in exercising their green thumbs and broadening their culinary horizons.

Aside from literary locales, the guide also includes an insightful interview with best-selling novelist and screenwriter Richard Price, a Bronx native who spent his childhood residing at the Parkside Houses.

Le-Tan decided to interview Price for the guide as he widely considered a ‘quintessen­tial New Yorker’ who has managed to create worlds and characters reflecting ‘old school’ New York.

Price drew inspiration from his hometown for his first novel, ‘The Wanderers,’ a coming of age story set in the Bronx in 1962, which he wrote at 24-years-old.

The story is set at a Bronx housing development similar to the Parkside Houses.

A Booklover’s Guide to New York will be available via Rizzoli New York’s website, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

To purchase a copy, visit www.rizzoliusa.com/book/9780847863662/.

Posted 12:00 am, September 26, 2019
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