This past fall I started my MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook University and one of the main reasons I ended up choosing that particular program was the opportunity to study with Roger Rosenblatt. I was not disappointed. He is as generous and remarkable as a professor as he is as a writer.
I’d read other books by him, including his highly acclaimed Making Toast, but was in for a whole new surprise with The Boy Detective. In this book, one of his most recent, he links us back to his childhood growing up in the neighborhood of Gramercy Park in New York City. He fancied himself a bit of a detective then and, I believe, still does. We retrace his steps both through his memories of childhood as well as through his actual visits on foot as a grown man and his seamlessly weaves us back and forth between the city he knew as a child and the one he visits now in his 70s.
One of my favorite aspects of this book, of course, is that he also writes at great length about being a writing professor and so I somehow feel a part of the narrative. This is a delightful read by a charming man with a terrific mind.
If you’re looking for a fun read about Manhattan, this will remind you of the joy that can be found in this city that never sleeps. If you’re interested in a heartfelt memoir by a man who has lived a rich life, this will meet your needs. And if you just want a very well written book for the sake of good reading, this is your ticket.