Fort Greene

In new book, writers, celebs reveal why they ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ to New York

Brooklyn BookBeat

October 10, 2014 By Samantha Samel Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Whoopi Goldberg fondly recalls her New York upbringing in “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

A poignant tribute to New York City, “Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York” (on-sale Oct. 14, 2014; Touchstone), edited by Sari Botton, presents a celebration of the city as depicted through the eyes of some of its greatest writers, including Brooklynites Phillip Lopate, Amy Sohn, Adam Sternbergh, Adelle Waldman and Nick Flynn, among others.  Notable celebrities Whoopi Goldberg and Rosanne Cash have also contributed essays that reveal what keeps them tethered to New York City.

While Botton’s acclaimed collection “Goodbye to All That” was inspired by Joan Didion’s classic essay about loving and leaving Manhattan, “Never Can Say Goodbye” is a pure celebration of staying — at least in spirit — in the city that never sleeps. A Brooklyn launch event will be held at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene on Oct. 15, when Botton will speak with contributors Lopate, Waldman, Alexander Chee and Anna Holmes.

In 25 original works, along with classic pieces from Elizabeth Gilbert (“The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon”) and Susan Orlean (“Royalty”), writers ruminate on how they fell in love with New York City, and why it will always be home — even if they no longer live there.

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“Just about every aspect of working on this book and its predecessor has been sheer joy for me—reading and editing authors I admire on the topic of a place I adore and long for,” writes Botton in her introduction.

“I am a native New Yorker, which means I was ruined in the crib for life elsewhere,” Lopate writes as the opening to his essay, in which he later reveals that his “favorite place to be in New York is the subway.” Goldberg recalls her love for Coney Island; Sternberg, whose essay is titled “Me Love Brooklyn,” recalls wanting “to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with Walt Whitman while he composed a poem about it in real time”; and Waldman, who writes, “For almost a decade, I rejected the idea of moving to Brooklyn,” explains that later, “community turned out to be more important than I realized when I was young — important to a degree that is humbling — and I happened to find it in Brooklyn.”

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The Oct. 15 event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore is located at 686 Fulton St. in Fort Greene.  

 


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