We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Brooklyn Is

Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes

James Agee

Publication Year: 2005

For the first time in book form-a great writer's classic celebration of the essence of Brooklyn.In 1939, James Agee was assigned to write an article on Brooklyn for a special issue of Fortune on New York City. The draft was rejected for creative differences,and remained unpublished until it appeared in Esquire in 1968 under the title Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes.Crossing the borough from the brownstone heights over the Brooklyn Bridge out through backstreet neighborhoods like Flatbush, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay that roll silently to the sea, Agee captured in 10,000 remarkable words, the essence of a place and its people. Propulsive, lyrical, jazzy, and tender, itspitch-perfect descriptions endure even as Brooklyn changes; Agee's essay is a New York classic. Resonant with the rhythms of Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Wolfe, it takes its place alongside Alfred Kazin's A Walker in the City as a great writer's love-song to Brooklyn and alongside E. B. White's Here Is New York as an essential statement of the place so many call home. James Agee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1909. One of the great prose stylists of the past century, Agee wrote in many forms-poetry, short stories, novels, essays, commentary, and criticism. In 1958 he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for A Death in the Family, and he also wrote the classic account of poor Southern farmers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, accompanied by Walker Evans's documentary photographs. With John Huston, he wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for The African Queen, and he was an influential film and theater critic for Time and The Nation. James Agee died in 1955 of a heart attack in a New York City taxicab. In the fall of 2005, the Library of America will publish a two-volume collection of his writings. Jonathan Lethem's novels include Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, his most recent book is The Disappointment Artist. Lethem was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he still lives.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-3


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 4-4


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 5-6

Agee's Brooklyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-xi

read more

Brooklyn Is: Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-46

Watching them in the trolleys, or along the inexhaustible reduplications of the streets of their small tradings and their sleep, one comes to notice, even in the most urgently poor, a curious quality in the eyes and at the corners of the ...

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 50-62

James Rufus Agee was born in a working-class section of Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 27, 1909, the son of Hugh James Agee and Laura Whitman Tyler. His father’s death in an automobile accident when ...

Other Titles by James Agee

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-51

E-ISBN-13: 9780823250226
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823224920
Print-ISBN-10: 0823224929

Page Count: 64
Publication Year: 2005

Edition: Revised

OCLC Number: 647876453
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Brooklyn Is

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Description and travel.
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Description and travel.
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
  • Agee, James, 1909-1955 -- Travel -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access