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Reading Groups

The Stories of NYC: Mid-Century Bohemia with Pam Newton

Three Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT June 25 to August 27, 2024

The Center for Fiction

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group with a 10% discount from our Bookstore.

Meeting Dates:
6/25, 7/23, 8/27
In Person at The Center for Fiction

In recognition of the 400th anniversary of the establishment of New York City in 1624, we’re exploring The Stories of NYC.

The mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, a period bookended by WWII and the Vietnam War, was a time when many people drew firm lines around their conceptions of morality and social acceptability. But others were chafing against those conventional mores and finding ways to live that were freer and more self-determined. We will read three novels about groups of friends in New York City in this period, all of whom are trying to make good in the booming modern metropolis. They struggle to succeed financially and professionally, to find love and romance, and ultimately to build lives that satisfy their strongest desires and ambitions. In the process, they become enmeshed with the Bohemian counterculture of the midcentury city—its artists and writers, its parties and nightclubs, its sexual openness—and with some of the darker forces churning beneath the shiny surface of this American moment.

Participants should read Breakfast at Tiffany’s in advance of the first meeting.

What to expect from this reading group: This will be more of a conversation than a lecture, but the instructor will be on hand to provide some context and guide the exploration of the novels.


Led by

  • Pam Newton Large

    Pam Newton

    Pam Newton

    Pam Newton teaches writing in the English department at Yale University and is a freelance magazine writer. Her articles, mostly personal essays and art/culture journalism, have appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times magazine, Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, American Theatre, the National Book Review, LitHub, and elsewhere. She has taught writing and literature for many years to a wide range of ages, including a decade teaching in the Humanities faculty at Cooper Union and directing the Writing Fellows program there. She has a B.A. in Drama from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.