'The master of a journalistic style long vanished - urbane, lucid, courteous... A masterpiece of observation and storytelling' Ian McEwan
Mitchell is the laureate of old New York. The hidden corners of the city and the people who lived there are his subject. He captured the waterfront rooming-houses , nickel-a-drink saloons, all-night restaurants, the 'visionaries, obsessives, imposters, fanatics, lost souls, the end-is-near street preachers, old Gypsy Kings and old Gypsy Queens, and out-and-out freak-show freaks.' Mitchell's trademark curiosity, respect and graveyard humour fuel these magical essays.
Written between 1943 and 1965, Up in the Old Hotel is the complete collection of Joseph Mitchell 's New Yorker journalism and includes McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr Flood, The Bottom of the Harbour and Joe Gould's Secret.
'Joseph Mitchell is buried treasure' Salman Rushdie
Joseph Mitchell was born near Iona, North Carolina, in 1908, and came to New York City in 1929, when he was twenty-one years old. He eventually found a job as an apprentice crime reporter for The World. He also worked as a reporter and features writer at The Herald Tribune and The World-Telegram before landing at The New Yorker in 1938. "Joe Gould's Secret," which appeared on September 26th 1964, was the last piece Mitchell ever published. He went into work at The New Yorker almost every day for the next thirty-one years and six months but submitted no further writing.