Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York


Title: Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York
Author: Sari Botton
Publisher: Seal Press
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
ISBN: 9781580054942
Number of Pages: 288
How I Got It: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary
In 1967, Joan Didion wrote an essay called Goodbye to All That, a work of such candid and penetrating prose that it soon became the gold standard for personal essays. Like no other story before it, Didion’s tale of loving and leaving New York captured the mesmerizing allure Manhattan has always had for writers, poets, and wandering spirits.

In this captivating collection, 28 writers take up Didion’s literary legacy by sharing their own New York stories. Their essays often begin as love stories do, with the passion of something newly discovered—the crush of subway crowds, the streets filled with manic energy, and the sudden, unblinking certainty that this is the only place on Earth where one can become exactly who she is meant to be.
They also share the grief that comes like a gut-punch, when the metropolis loses its magic and the pressures of New York’s frenetic life wear thin on even the most fervent dwellers. As friends move away, rents soar, and love—still— remains just out of reach, each writer’s goodbye to New York is singular and universal, like New York itself.
With Cheryl Strayed, Dani Shapiro, Emma Straub, Ann Hood, and more.

My Review: I wanted to live in New York when I was younger, so reading a collection of essays about leaving the city was bittersweet. I loved each writer's individual love story with the city and like most love stories, the eventual falling out. The final decisions of each writer to leave the city surpassed my initial jealousy of them getting to have the experience in the first place. New York is a mecca that calls to creative types and I am no different. I myself have wanted to live in that magical city surrounded by art, artists and inspiration at every turn. But alas, I am 36 years old with a husband and children, not twenty with fluid sexual proclivities and drug addictions. The collection of essays is depressing in the sense you know it will be due to the fact the writers eventually had enough and moved on (literally.) However, it is a valuable supplement to bookend the myriad stories of moving to New York to "find one's self" or "make it big." The statistical reality of these journeys is that many (most?) will not result in life long citizens of the city.  

**  I received this book in exchange for an honest review **

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