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New novel portrays NYC’s gentrification in the 1990s

Brooklyn BookBeat

September 15, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn writer Matthew Taub’s “Death of the Dying City” examines 1990s New York City.
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A new novel portrays an early era of the city’s rapid transformation to tell a wider story about race, class and love.

“Death of the Dying City,” by Brooklyn Eagle contributor and blogger Matthew Taub, examines New York’s shifting ethnic and cultural enclaves in the 1990s through rotating, character-driven vignettes. Brief windows into the lives of New Yorkers from varying backgrounds are connected by Mark Newstein, a young attorney facing his own moral crisis and romantic upheaval.

“We all know the decaying, bankrupt, abandoned city of the 1970s,” Taub explained, “yet today all we see around us is a shiny, glimmering experience that’s often out of reach. I wanted to write a novel that tackled the question: how did we get from the former to the latter? And did we miss a moment in time that was more balanced, and would have been more ideal?”

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To find the answer, Taub spent years researching and then writing about vaunted but ephemeral haunts, movements and scenes throughout the five boroughs.

“Much of the general public is unaware of some of the dramatic episodes that ushered and continue to usher the city into its modern, gleaming status, at the expense of communities with little political clout,” Taub said.

A lawyer-turned-journalist, Taub also uses the novel to tackle the state of the legal profession, which he believes has been undermined through unscrupulous conduct and the gaudy display of legal advertising.

“Legal advertising has only been permitted since 1977, but has quickly degraded the profession’s stature in that time,” Taub claimed. “This novel covers the descent of the legal industry into a more disturbing, less honorable enterprise, along with the changing face of New York City, which was rushed into a state of uber-development, pricing out the middle class and creative-types who lent the city a vibrancy not easily replicated.”

The novel was published by Sunbury Press, an indie publisher from Pennsylvania. It is currently available as an e-book and will also be out in print shortly. Copies can be purchased from Sunbury Press or Amazon.


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