Friday, July 27, 2012

Goodbye, Columbus; Hello, Newark

When we moved from Jersey City out to South Orange not quite two years ago, my friend Lenny, who’d been in nearby Millburn for a while, took me under his wing, driving me around, taking me to lunch in various spots around Essex County.

We were talking about Short Hills and he said, in passing, that of course I’d read Goodbye, Columbus. But I hadn’t. I didn’t know it and didn’t know that it was all about a version of the very move we had just made, for it’s the tale of Neil Krugman, a young worker in the Newark Public Library, and his love affair with Brenda Patimkin of Short Hills.

It’s a wonderful story about a summer romance across class barriers—funny and sharp and sweet. And there is a great, jolly pleasure in reading the real names of the towns that I pass through every day on my commute in to the city—to listen to Neil look at the Lackawanna Train—which then went into Hoboken but now is my train into Penn Station—and imagine the commuters from Maplewood and the Oranges, whizzing through Newark on their way to New York.

Philip Roth published Goodbye, Columbus in 1959 and so I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but if you’ve never read it or haven’t read it in a while, let me tell you, this novella is a great little summertime read.


genevieve said...

Roth AND a library. That sounds wonderful, thanks!
Hope you're all happy with your move :D

Unknown said...

We are! Nice to see your name here--hoping you're doing well, too.

David James said...

Apna Showroom Fishnet Stockings for Women Sexy Black Net Pattern Stockings Big Mesh Free Size with desent Look Net stockings for women
fish net stockings for women black net stockings for girls women fishnet stocking for woman female apna showroom
Apna Showroom Thick Rubber hair bands for women (Cotton wool ExtraSoft Ponytail holder 12 Piece
Rubber band for women girls hair rubber band for daily use party cotton free size rubber hair band pack of 12 rubber band cotton wool apna showroom