This week Superstition Mountain Press published Richard Grayson's West Side Summers. It is available in a 314-page trade paperback edition for $15.99, as well as an Amazon Kindle edition published by http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifArt Pants Company for 99 cents.
The promo stuff says in part,
Richard Grayson started writing a daily diary in the summer of 1969, when he turned 18, and has compiled daily entries since then. In the six volumes of THE BROOKLYN DIARIES (SUMMER IN BROOKLYN, AUTUMN IN BROOKLYN, WINTER IN BROOKLYN, SPRING IN BROOKLYN, MORE SUMMER IN BROOKLYN, and A YEAR IN ROCKAWAY), Grayson published selected entries from 1969 to 1980.
Now, in WEST SIDE SUMMERS, the second volume of THE EIGHTIES DIARIES (following SOUTH FLORIDA WINTERS), Grayson describes his summer days living on the Upper West Side from 1984 to 1987. Already a published author, Grayson records his days and nights prowling the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, alone or with fellow writers and other friends, with side trips to his grandmother's beachfront co-op in Rockaway and a stay at the artists' colony that was the estate of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Celebrities like Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Isaac Bashevis Singer and a not-so-famous Harvey Pekar often cross Grayson's path, and he recreates the scene on the Yuppified Upper West Side and the grittier world of the Lower East Side.
Shakespeare in the Park, Sichuan restaurants, a decidedly seedy Times Square, hip coffee shops, Zabar's and H&H Bagels, literary readings, elderly Jews on the boardwalk, the panic and terror of the AIDS epidemic, homeless beggars, nights with ex-lovers, graduate classes in computers, gay pride parades, the Statue of Liberty centennial, cash advances at ATMs, Wall Street insider trading indictments, giving and getting interviews, soaring ambitions and crushing self-doubts: this is Grayson's world in the exciting long, hot summers of a Manhattan in the middle of the flashy 1980s.
It will also be available on Scribd and Lulu for free online reading.