Give Notes, Take Notes
On the tenth anniversary of the publication of my cultural history Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City’s World Trade Center (Basic Books, 2000), I am happy to offer Things Fall Together, the first volume of my five volume journal-memoir Notes of a New York Son, 1995 – 2007. A new volume of Notes is scheduled to appear every six months until the series is completed.
Covering more than a decade in a critical epoch of the city’s life, Notes of a New York Son is intended as both a sequel and prequel to Divided We Stand.
When it was first published in 2000, Marshall Berman, author of All That is Solid Melts into Air and On the Town called Divided “a model not only of writing but of citizenship,” fusing “analytical brilliance with personal feeling.”
In that book I attempted to bring a fresh critical perspective to the discussion of the forces that produced modern-day New York and its most formidable icon of power. Subsequent to 9/11, Divided came to serve as a window into the life and fortunes of the city “before.”
Similarly, Notes of a New York Son engages the subject of the city’s recent past in unconventional ways, weaving historical materials into the realtime fabric of everyday life. Like a series of Russian dolls nested inside one another, I have tried to encompass and integrate the experiential realms of self, family, tribe and culture.
Over the course of the writing process, I sought to map the topography of place as vividly as I experienced it. Some time in mid-2002, I realized that Notes of a New York Son had unwittingly charted the steps leading up to and beyond the city’s redefining moment. With that awareness in mind, I continued on with the project until the narrative itself said Basta! half a decade later.
One generous commentator has called Notes “a survival manual, a spiritual foraging guide for urban dwellers, demonstrating how to draw nutrients and sustenance from the city around them.”
It is my hope that these volumes will prove useful, no matter where we live, in affirming our instinct to inhabit the concrete experience of the here and now. And that they will help root our senses and spirits, as fully as possible, in the endlessly transforming reality of those places we call home.
A Word About EDB
Eric Darton Books will focus on publishing literature in diverse genres in which New York City, literally, metaphorically, or both, constitutes a significant presence within the text. In addition to the five volumes of Notes of a New York Son, future releases from EDB will include works of fiction, poetry, cultural history, drama and literature in translation.
Recently, high-quality print-on-demand technologies and web commerce have made possible new and fortuitous opportunities for book production and distribution. EDB is dedicated to cultivating a direct relationship among authors and readers and to affirming the bond between the two most important parties in this time-honored exchange.
We are confident that the bold new mode of publishing and distribution that EDB represents will flourish as its benefits to the book-loving community become evermore clear.