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Manhattan, When I Was Young

Author: Cantwell, Mary Set In . . .
 Europe, France, Paris, North America, USA, New York, New York City
Genre: Biography
Time Frame: 1950s
Published: 1995
A “wonderful memoir” of a woman’s life as a fashion-magazine writer in 1950s and ’60s New York (Publishers Weekly).

Mary Cantwell arrived in Manhattan one summer in the early 1950s with eighty dollars, a portable typewriter, a wardrobe of unsuitable clothes, a copy of The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, a boyfriend she was worried might be involved with the Communists, and no idea how to live on her own. She moved to the Village because she had heard of it, and worked at Mademoiselle because that was where the employment agency sent her.

In this evocative and unflinching book, Cantwell recalls the city she knew back then by revisiting five apartments in which she lived. Her memoir vividly recreates both a particular golden era in New York City and the sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating process of forging a self.
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