Red Hen Press is closed starting 11/25/2020 for Thanksgiving, shipping will resume the first week of December. Thank you.

In the Key of New York City by Rebecca McClanahan

Red Hen Press Presales and Broadsides

Regular price $14.95
Shipping calculated at checkout.
In the Key of New York City by Rebecca McClanahan

In the Key of New York City
A Memoir by Rebecca McClanahan

Our lives are sublets anyway, and too quickly gone at that.

In this lively and deeply affecting memoir, Rebecca McClanahan tracks the heartbeat of New York as only a stunned newcomer can: in overheard conversations on park benches, songs and cries sifted through apartment walls, and in encounters with street people dispensing unexpected wisdom. Having uprooted their settled lives in North Carolina to pursue a long-held dream of living in Manhattan, she and her husband struggle to find jobs, forge friendships, and create a home in a city of strangers. The 9/11 attacks and a serious cancer surgery complicate their story, merging the public with the private, the present with the past, to shape a journey richer than either could have imagined.


“A reader may find herself wondering (as I did) what lengths McClanahan will go to save a squirrel trapped outside her apartment window, what she might learn when a very odd duck sits next to her on a city bench and strikes up a conversation, and how, as a newcomer to the city, she will fathom the destruction of the World Trade Center. This marvelous book is a treasure chest of wisdom and humility and humor and discovery. I read it in one sitting. So will you.”—Abigail Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of A Three Dog Life and Safekeeping

“How brilliantly Rebecca McClanahan marries New York to the country of her life and imagination, thus recreating the city. One lives with her in this beautifully-wrought memoir as one lives in a New York apartment--hearing the neighbors breathe, inhaling the tense air, scanning the prairies of the streets, and greeting the mysteries of strangers. It’s no easy feat to make New York new. McClanahan does it wondrously.”—Roger Rosenblatt, New York Times bestselling author of Making Toast: A Family Story and The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood

“The 9/11 essays in In The Key of New York City evoke the rich vibrancy of life in the city even as horrific events shadow the horizon. McClanahan, one of the finest practitioners of the creative essay in America today, daringly weaves the city and its creatures into a memorable and resilient testament: the world was changed, but New York endures.”—David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review

“This collection of essays—by turns witty, thought-provoking, and moving—inspires us to reconsider the meaning of the seemingly ‘insignificant’ events and circumstances of our own lives.”—Kathleen Norris, New York Times bestselling author of The Cloister Walk and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography


Rebecca McClanahan, author of ten books, has received two Pushcart Prizes, the Glasgow Award in nonfiction, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry magazine, and four fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, the Georgia Review, the Kenyon Review, the Sun, and in anthologies published by Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, Norton, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bedford/St. Martin’s, and numerous others. She teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University and Rainier Writing Workshop and lives with her husband, video producer Donald Devet, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

PUB DATE: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-59709-850-2
SIZE: 5 in x 8 in
FORMAT: Tradepaper
EXTENT: 176pp tentative

Related Products