Book Reviews of Slaves of New York

Slaves of New York
Slaves of New York
Author: Tama Janowitz
ISBN-13: 9780517561072
ISBN-10: 0517561077
Publication Date: 9/30/1986
Pages: 278
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Book Type: Hardcover
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Hardcover missing its dustjacket. \'80s precursor of Candace Bushnell\'s Sex and the City. Life in New York hinges on becoming successful enough to have a nice apartment, and if you don\'t have one, you move in with someone who does and become that person\'s slave--kind of like Janey in Bushnell\'s 4 Blondes.

In Tama Janowitz\'s story collection of mid-1980s manners, it\'s all about real estate. Her coterie of New York artists and grad students, junkies and collectors dwells in walk-ups and covets lofts. The occasional socialite wafts through, characterized tersely by statements of fact; for example, \"Millie owned her own co-op.\" But, for the most part, these are the also-rans of Manhattan life, literally looking for a toehold in the city. The main character who emerges is shabby Eleanor, an appealing heroine who appears in several linked stories. A jewelry maker, she lives with an artist named Stash and a treasure-trove of insecurities. Much is made of the squalor of their apartment. In Eleanor, Janowitz finds a channel for her vulnerability--a nice counterpoint to her affectless prose, which attempts and occasionally achieves a deadpan humor. At its best, Slaves effervesces a bittersweet nostalgia for a time when artists could still afford to live in Manhattan.