Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue
A Novel of Pastry, Guilt, and Music
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In his eagerly awaited debut novel, critically acclaimed author Mark Kurlansky entertains readers with a brilliant story bursting with the vivid events and culinary delights–even recipes–that made bestsellers out of his nonfiction works Cod, Salt, and 1968.
Nathan woke up on a Friday morning with the unshakable sense that during this day he would commit a catastrophic error in judgment. Something had been written by the gods, and Nathan Seltzer knew this was one Friday that he would regret. . . .
It’s the boom years of the 1980s, and life is closing in on Nathan Seltzer, who rarely travels beyond his suddenly gentrifying Lower East Side neighborhood. Between paralyzing bouts of claustrophobia, Nathan wonders whether he should cheat on his wife with Karoline, a German pastry maker whose parents may or may not have been Nazis. His father, Harry, is plotting with the 1960s boogaloo star Chow Mein Vega for the comeback of this dance craze. Meanwhile, a homicidal drug addict is terrorizing the neighborhood.
With its cast of unforgettable characters, Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue is a comedy of cultures, of the old and the new, of Latinos, Jews, Sicilians, and Germans. It’s about struggling to hold on to life in a rapidly changing world, about food and sex, and about how our lives are shaped by love and guilt.
From the Hardcover edition.