July 9, 2012
And then all the unmentioned Brooklyn authors bawled in their beers
by Dustin Kurtz
Wait a second. Wait. Drop everything. Hold on. Sit down. Are you sitting down? Are you holding on? Wait. Have you dropped everything? Drop it. Except for your socks. Hold on to those. Hold onto your socks. Folks, there is a mystical place out there, a vast land, undiscovered by journalists, never before mentioned in print, surely, a land thick with coffee shops and farmer’s markets and that other coffee shop and what the hell, another farmer’s market. There is a place out there, I doubt you’ve heard of it, where that cryptic and most rarely-interviewed beast roams in herds as vast as the horizon, where these strange rumbunctious denizens–each with a “slick of thick black hair”—workshop and play touch football and buy more booze and reminisce endlessly about bill collectors. That place, once home to bars and “Baltic seafarers” is now a thicket of endless readings, the final resting ground of the legendary Author.
Don’t worry if this land, the fabled Brooklyn (am I spelling that right?) is unfamiliar to you. Though some authors have been living there in secret, it was only recently accurately mapped by the legendary Auster, and only fully civilized this year with the arrival of that great reformer Martin Amis. It is a pleasure, then, to have one intrepid young journalist forge ahead and help us understand the storied decade-long history of this rich land. Few adventurous travelers would have had the panache to brave over-caffeination and the lines at Trader Joe’s like our fearless guide, but thank the ghost of James Agee that he did. Without him, who would have cast light on this strange benighted borough? Who could explain its mysteries and dangers to a thrilled audience the world over? Most importantly of all, who could have so thoroughly catalogued every author of note who roams this dusky veldt?
Below, for the curious, is that list: every Brooklyn author of note, in order, as named in this invaluable work of reportage. That is to say, if you were not listed, you are not a Brooklyn author. Perhaps you live in some forested wasteland beyond human ken, lands lost to our knowledge except for eldritch syllables, hidden in the wild chants of painted tribes. “Queens!” they may whisper, and until some brave soul ventures even farther afield we’ll know not what they mean.
An exhaustive list of Brooklyn Authors as valiantly provided by The Guardian:
James Agee, Agee, Agee, Agee, Bret Easton Ellis, Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Safran Foer, Lahiri, Sergio De La Pava, Jonathan Lethem, Agee, Agee, Martin Amis, Walt Whitman, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote,Chad Harbach, Harbach, Harbach, Jonathan Franzen, Harbach, Harbach, Keith Gessen, Gessen, Rosie Dastgir, Dastgir, James Agee, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, Deborah Baker, Dastgir, Amanda Stern, Stern, Stern, Stern, Harbach, Stern, Gessen, Stern, Dastgir, Harbach, Stern, AM Homes, Etgar Keret, Stern, Stern, Jhumpa Lahiri, Julie Orringer, Keith Gessen, Benjamin Kunkel, Mark Greif, Marco Roth, Harbach, Roth, Dave Eggers, James Wood, Jonathan Franzen, Don DeLillo, Michel Houellebecq, Gessen, Gessen, Gessen, Harbach, Harbach, Harbach, Gessen, Julia Fierro, Fierro, Fierro, Stern, Stern, Gessen, Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Paul Auster, Gessen, Whitman.
Dustin Kurtz is the marketing manager of Melville House, and a former bookseller.