In Neon Letters, the author takes the reader for a slightly shambling stroll through Manhattan’s nightlife as it’s portrayed in American literature from the late 1800s towards our own time. In essays combining thorough literary criticism with energetic prose and restless digressions, the reader encounters a literature pulsating with the unique, dark shadow life of Manhattan.
This is a book about literature in all shapes and sizes: The book discusses tragic novels and humorous short stories, fantasy and naturalism, avant garde poetry and populist rhyming verse. It is a book about values, about ideology, about a city and a culture in constant flux. About street urchins, prostitutes, overdoses, gambling, gangsters, bootleggers, chorus girls, disco, porn cinemas, and AIDS. It is a tribute to the unclean, the unhealthy, and the unproductive in the modern era.