From one of our most admired (and feared) cultural critics, a memoir that captures all the gritty, grubby glamour of New York in the awful/wonderful Seventies.
In the autumn of 1972, a very young and green James Wolcott arrived in New York from Maryland, full of literary dreams, equipped with a letter of introduction from Norman Mailer, and having no idea what was about to hit him. Landing at a time of accelerating municipal squalor and, paradoxically, gathering cultural energy in all spheres as "Downtown" became a category of art and life unto itself, he embarked upon his sentimental education, seventies New York style. This portrait of a critic as a young man is also a rollicking, acutely observant portrait of a legendary time and place. Mixing grit and glitter in just the right proportions, suffused with affection for the talented and sometimes half-crazed denizens of the scene, it will make readers long for a time when you really could get mugged around here.