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The Tenants of Moonbloom

The Tenants of Moonbloom

Author(s): Edward Lewis Wallant

Location(s): New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1960s/70 and early 2000s

Location

Content

Norman Moonbloom is a loser, a drop-out who can’t even make it as a deadbeat. His brother, a slumlord, hires him to collect rent in the buildings he owns in Manhattan. Making his rounds from apartment to apartment, Moonbloom confronts a wildly varied assortment of brilliantly described urban characters, among them a gay jazz musician with a sideline as a gigolo, a Holocaust survivor, and a brilliant young black writer modeled on James Baldwin. Moonbloom hears their cries of outrage and abuse; he learns about their secret sorrows and desires. And as he grows familiar with their stories, he finds that he is drawn, in spite of his best judgment, into a desperate attempt to improve their lives.

Edward Lewis Wallant’s astonishing comic tour de force is a neglected masterpiece of 1960s America.

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Lead Review

It’s poignant, gritty and entertaining – just lovely. Oh, New York in that era… a fabulous and interesting time.

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