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As a young newspaper reporter in 1930s New York, Joseph Mitchell interviewed fan dancers, street evangelists, voodoo conjurers, not to mention a lady boxer who also happened to be a countess. Mitchell haunted parts of the city now vanished: the fish market, burlesque houses, tenement neighborhoods, and storefront churches. Whether he wrote about a singing first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers or a nudist who does a reverse striptease, Mitchell brilliantly illuminated the humanity in the oddest New Yorkers.
These pieces, written primarily for The World-Telegram and The Herald Tribune, highlight his abundant gifts of empathy and observation, and give us the full-bodied picture of the famed New Yorker writer Mitchell would become.
“My Ears Are Bent sparkles with laughter and exuberance.”
—Los Angeles Times
“This reporter, prose stylist and observer of life remains that vanished world's Scheherezade.”
—The Washington Post
“These stories, the tales of the people he has talked to in the course of his wanderings about New York, are done with a sharp eye for the revealing detail, and in a prose that is casual, but tough.”
—Stanley Walker, The Herald Tribune
“Delicacies from the first nine years of Mitchell's career.”