A vivid, funny, exuberantly textured debut novel about a tight-knit, ethnically diverse New York neighbourhood on the brink of change, from the bestselling author of COD, SALT and 1968.
It's the boom years of the 1980s, and life is closing in on Nathan Seltzer, who rarely travels outside his suddenly gentrifying Lower East Side neighbourhood. In between paralyzing bouts of claustrophobia, Nathan wonders whether he should cheat on his wife with Karoline, a German pastry maker whose parents may or may not have been Nazis. His father, Harry, is plotting with the 1960s boogaloo star Chow Mein Vega for the comeback of this dance craze. Meanwhile, a homicidal drug addict is terrorizing the neighbourhood. With its ensemble cast of unforgettable characters, BOOGALOO ON 2ND AVENUE is a comedy of cultures about the old and the new, about Latinos, Jews, Sicilians and Germans. It's about struggling to hold onto life in a rapidly changing world, about food and sex and about how our lives are shaped by love and guilt.
“'Just dive in and mind the chocolate' Jewish Chronicle ”
“'Witty, hard-edged and mouth-watering.A tightly crafted, vibrant book filled with the romance and hardships of family life, violence, music and butter' I-D”
“'Rich and compelling. Warm social comedy, period detail and perceptive psychology...Kurlansky writes from the heart and taste-buds' Literary Review”
“'Whimsical. Kurlansky's powers of description and humour are abundantly engaging. impassioned, nostalgic, charmingly written novel' Daily Telegraph”
“'Exuberant...hilarious. Recipes for some of the mouth-watering dishes mentioned in the book provide a satisfactorily eccentric coda to an original New York novel' Good Book Guide”
“'A marvellous debut by any standards...beautifully done' Sunday Telegraph”