Book details

Come Back in September

A Literary Education on West Sixty-seventh Street, Manhattan

Author: Darryl Pinckney

Come Back in September

Come Back in September

$32.00

About This Book

Critic and writer Darryl Pinckney recalls his friendship and apprenticeship with Elizabeth Hardwick and Barbara Epstein and the introduction they offered him to the New York literary world.

Page Count
432
On Sale
10/25/2022

Book Details

Critic and writer Darryl Pinckney recalls his friendship and apprenticeship with Elizabeth Hardwick and Barbara Epstein and the introduction they offered him to the New York literary world.

Darryl Pinckney arrived at Columbia University in New York City in the early 1970s and had the opportunity to enroll in Elizabeth Hardwick’s creative writing class at Barnard. It changed his life. When the semester was over, he continued to visit her, and he became close to both Hardwick and Barbara Epstein, Hardwick’s best friend and neighbor and a fellow founder of The New York Review of Books. Pinckney was drawn into a New York literary world where he encountered some of the fascinating contributors to the Review, among them Susan Sontag, Robert Lowell, and Mary McCarthy. Yet the intellectual and artistic freedom that Pinckney observed on West Sixty-seventh Street could conflict with the demands of his politically minded family and their sense of the unavoidable lessons of black history.

Pinckney’s education in Hardwick’s orbit took place in the context of the cultural movements then sweeping New York. In addition, through his peers and former classmates—such as Felice Rosser, Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucy Sante, Howard Brookner, and Nan Goldin—Pinckney witnessed the coming together of the New Wave scene in the East Village. He experienced the avantgarde life at the same time as he was discovering the sexual freedom brought by gay liberation. It was his time for hope.

In Come Back in September, Pinckney recalls his introduction to New York and to the writing life. The critic and novelist intimately captures this revolutionary, brilliant, and troubled period in American letters. Elizabeth Hardwick was not only his link to the intellectual heart of New York but also a source of continuous support and of inspiration—in the way she worked, her artistry, the beauty of her voice. Through his memories of the city and of Hardwick, we see the emergence and evolution of Pinckney himself as a writer.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN

9780374126650

In The News

"Pinckney’s affectionate reminiscences capture their lasting brilliance . . . his profound 20-year bond with Hardwick glows on the page like warm afternoon sunlight." —Lesley Williams, Booklist (Starred Review)

“A poignant study of memory in action . . . Pinckney records [Elizabeth] Hardwick’s life in intimate detail . . . Pinckney’s roving style, his impressionist blurring, elevates a society memoir into a kaleidoscopic portrait of 1970s New York, [and] asks us to share his admiration for a writer who saw the essay, even the book review, not as a disposable form of journalism but as an opportunity for literary creation.” —Charlie Tyson, Bookforum

"[Pinckney's] prose is entertaining, gossipy, and full of vivid thumbnails yet, in its loose-jointed way, deeply serious about literature and craft . . . The result is a captivating portrait of the writing life in one of its richest settings." —Publishers Weekly

“In a sumptuously written memoir that affectingly situates itself within the space of Hardwick’s offered mentorship and friendship, Pinckney—an illustrious and captivating talent in his own right—reminisces about his close relationship with the pioneering writer and critic who was also his onetime professor. Come for the intimate portrait of cross-generational friendship forged through the excitement of 1970s literary New York and the upheaval of the AIDS crisis; stay for the compelling (and, at times, scandalous) rendering of a cultural milieu that simultaneously feels bygone and spectacularly familiar.” —Omari Weekes, Vulture

About the Creators

Come Back in September

Come Back in September

$32.00