RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Goodis and Philadelphia

From: Duane Swierczynski ( duane.swier@verizon.net)
Date: 09 Feb 2002

Hi, Joy--

I'm guessing you didn't encounter Goodis in the library because his books were Gold Medal paperbacks, and unlikely to make it into the stacks. Only recently, with a series of Black Lizard reprints from the late 1980s, early 90s have I seen his work creeping into public libraries. But if you lived in Port Richmond, I can't recommend Goodis enough, especially SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, which you is the one Goodis that you can still find in bookstores. His most recent reprint, OF TENDER SIN, takes place in the lower Northeast.

Good guesses about where I'm from. It's Frankford, though my mother comes from Bridesburg. I left to work in New York City for a few years, and lived in NYC's version of the Great Northeast: Brooklyn. (Or maybe that's Queens?) But I moved back to take an editing job with Philadelphia Magazine, and now live near the Art Museum. See, some Frankford kids do escape.

How about you, Joy? When did you split Philly?

--Duane Swierczynski

> More books for the list, which I'll be too poor to buy because I'm not
> getting my work out. How comes I lived in Port Richmond for 20 years and
> never heard of this guy? I read just about everything classified mystery in
> the PR library when I was broke and not that.
> Maybe it's another case of library policy. My novel-writing teacher
> denounced Swiftian adverbs, and sent me to the library for a Tom Swift when
> I asked for a definition. The librarian told me the library didn't buy
> series novels for children because they were low quality, and that if I gave
> them Nancy Drews, the library wouldn't accept them.
> So where'd you live, Duane? Bridesburg? Kensington? Fishtown? And
> where'd you go in the meantime?

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