what new yorkers are reading on the subway

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Naked and The Subterraneans

Downtown 3 Train at Chambers Street
It was tempting to include Alison and Sarah in the same blog entry, as they were sitting next to each other, reading on the train, sisters on vacation from Maryland. So I did. Alison, a student at Smith off on summer vacation, was reading Naked, by David Sedaris. Now, I might be the last person in New York who hasn't read the memoir, and I had to ask her tell me what it's about, which she never got around to. "A friend gave it to me, and besides, it's my only book I brought [on her vacation]. It's about his childhood in North Carolina." Well, okay, I learned that. "I really like it. It's funny." Sarah, a student at Carleton College in Minnesota, was reading Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans, another book that, at least in college, everyone around me had read but that I failed to read. "This is a story about a writer who has an affair with a Black woman." She said it asks the questions "Does love matter?" and "How am I going to make a living?" Fine questions not only for college, but for the 3 train, especially going downtown.

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