ON SALE: December 1, 2021
General Trade 5.5” x 8.5” 220 Pages
Hardback: 978-1-949596-10-6 / $32.99 U.S. / $41.99 Can.
Paperback: 978-1-949596-12-0 / $21.99 U.S. / $27.99 Can.
Ebook: 978-1-949596-11-3 / $4.99 U.S. / $5.99 Can.
West Village Originals can be ordered from the Ingram Book Company at (800) 937-8000
“A celebratory collection of ninety interviews that evoke deep feeling—including nostalgia—for a connected and vibrant community equal parts cozy and wild. Minichiello lets each subject’s spirit shine through in their own words, and lovers of New York history will find inspiration and insight in these profiles of West Village residents.”
—BookLife Reviews, Editor’s Pick
“A delightful group portrait of the West Village as it has been and can be. The stories of these ‘West Village Originals’ may make many others wish they could live and create in the Village as well!”
Known as “Little Bohemia” since 1916, New York City’s West Village has long been a haven for intellectuals, writers, artists, and activists. Here the 19th-century homes lining the narrow cobblestone streets were broken up into apartments to house the newcomers. Gathering places like jazz clubs, piano bars, coffee shops, bookstores, and theaters hummed with a sense of freedom from a more rigid society outside the neighborhood’s borders. This would be the home of the groundbreaking Westbeth Artists Housing and of the Stonewall riots that gave birth to the gay rights movement.
However, by the beginning of the 21st century, the area began to witness vast changes. Desirable brownstones were transformed back into single family homes, and streets once filled with antique stores and curiosity shops were becoming emblazoned with the names of top fashion designers. Michael D. Minichiello’s tantalizing book captures this profound shift through ninety interviews with community activists, business owners, journalists, writers, and artists of all media. As they share their stories, we get a glimpse of both the reality and the myths that made this counterculture neighborhood the setting for both film (My Sister Eileen, Next Stop Greenwich Village) and television (Sex and the City, Friends).
Through the words of those who know it best—including Calvin Trillin, Susan Brownmiller, Charles Busch, David Del Tredici and Frederic Block—West Village Originals paints an enlivening portrait of this Oz-like neighborhood where the prevailing sentiment of its denizens is that there is no place like the West Village.