"Bronx Literature," a subway station with a
reading list to travel on time and in time...
A celebration of Bronx literature, depicting the universe of four writers
who lived in or wrote about the Bronx: Sholom Aleichem, James Baldwin,
Nicholasa Mohr and Edgar Allan Poe. Through the stories of these writers,
we visit important moments of the neighborhood's history.
Edgar Allan Poe was already a noted literary critic, poet and author when
he rented a small cottage in Fordham for $100 a year in 1846. He vainly
hoped the fresh air would cure his wife’s tuberculosis. While living
in the cottage, he befriended the Jesuit teachers at nearby St. John’s
College (now Fordham University), and wrote Annabel Lee and The Bells.
The cottage, now in Poe Park, is administered by The Bronx County Historical
Society as a historic landmark museum.
Sholom Aleichem, Yiddish literature's most beloved author,
was one of the very few modern writers who speaks for an entire people.
Born in Russia in 1859 as Solomon Rabinovitz, he died in The Bronx in
1916. He created many memorable characters, including Tevye (character
of "Fiddler on the Roof"), Mottel "The Cantor's Son",
Menachem-Mendl and many others.
Baldwin’s intense reading period in high school
is a quest in itself, one dominated by issues of race and authorship as
he traces his struggle to accept his calling as a writer/prophet. Along
the axis of Baldwin’s uptown-downtown shuttling between the two
incompatible worlds of Harlem and his church, and Clinton De Witt High
School in the Bronx, his self-preoccupation as an artist in the spiritual,
moral, even metaphysical sense emerges as somewhat romantic.
Nicholasa Mohr: El Bronx Remembered
In the South Bronx--or El Bronx, as it's known to the people who live
there--anything can happen. A migrant from Puerto Rico can become somebody
on the mainland, pursue the American Dream--and maybe even make it come
true. Harsh, happy, scary, sad, and funny, here are stories of growing
up in the South Bronx during its heyday, from 1946 to 1956.