The Tenants of Moonbloom

Publisher: NYRB Classics
Norman Moonbloom is a loser, a drop-out who can't even make it as a deadbeat. His brother, a slumlord, hires him to collect rent in the buildings he owns in Manhattan. Making his rounds from apartment to apartment, Moonbloom confronts a wildly varied assortment of brilliantly described urban characters, among them a gay jazz musician with a sideline as a gigolo, a Holocaust survivor, and a brilliant young black writer modeled on James Baldwin. Moonbloom hears their cries of outrage and abuse; he learns about their secret sorrows and desires. And as he grows familiar with their stories, he finds that he is drawn, in spite of his best judgment, into a desperate attempt to improve their lives.

Edward Lewis Wallant's astonishing comic tour de force is a neglected masterpiece of 1960s America.

PRAISE FOR

"…a remarkable tour de force in which this gifted writer takes the elements of several “Street Scenes,” and spins them faster and faster like a deranged merry—go—round." —Martin Levin, New York Times Book Review

"No one since Nathanael West has written better of the rootlessness of metropolitan life. West is a writer whom Wallant resembles not only in his untimely death after early brilliant promise, but for his special Jewish sensibility and…profound moral concern…" —Time