Heart of the City
Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York
By Ariel Sabar
(Da Capo Press, Hardcover, 9780738213798, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 2011
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From the NBCC Awardwinning author of My Father’s Paradise: a book of true stories about ordinary people brought together by the strange romantic workings of New York’s landscape
Ariel Sabar’s first book, My Father’s Paradise, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. He is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, and Providence Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times and Boston Globe, among many other publications. He teaches creative writing at The George Washington University and lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
Two strangers meet on a fall day in 1966, in New York City's Washington Square Park. Four months later, they are married. Inspired by his parents' romance, author Ariel Sabar set out to find other couples who met and fell in love in New York's iconic public spaces. The result was the book, Heart of the City. Host Michel Martin speaks with author about his latest book and the importance of place when meeting a mate. More at NPR.org
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“Love stories and urban studies merge in these… cozy, seductive narratives.”
Town & Country, February 2011
“Ask anyone from Woody Allen to Carrie Bradsaw: there’s no love story quite like a New York love story. In Heart of the City Ariel Sabar tells nine true—and very moving—stories of people who met in the Big Apple.” BookPage, February 2011“Sabar’s thoroughly engaging Heart of the City profiles nine couples who met at famous New York City public spaces…Sabar has teased out each of these couples’ magnificent, ordinary stories and compiled them into a sparkling love letter to the city.” Publishers Weekly, 1/17/11“Inspired by his parents' story of meeting in Washington Square Park, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Sabar looks at the ‘environmental psychology’ of New York City's iconic public spaces…The strength of this effort lies in its sweetness.” Lisa Loeb
"With each story I felt like I was watching a mini movie. I couldn't put the book down, which led to many late nights...This collection affirmed my belief that people can find true love in life if they keep their eyes open.” Quirky Geeky Scribbles, 1/17/11
“If you like true stories and especially if you love New York: this is a must read.” New York Journal of Books,2/14/11“[A] delightful collection of essays (stories, really) that recount initial contacts in notable landmarks of America’s most famous city, all of which resulted in marriage… richer we are, simply because 18 people happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time—and a writer had enough curiosity, and foresight, to capture their stories.” St. Petersburg Times, 2/6/11
“Charming true stories.”
New York Times, 2/13/11“The apparent connection between personal passion and public place inspires a beguiling romp into environmental psychology, which then leads to nine couples whose first encounter (and illuminating, sometimes bittersweet postscripts) represent an affirmation of the everyday miracle that is New York.” New York Times, 2/17/11“Mr. Sabar is shamelessly romantic…The results have the power to make saps out of us all.” Toronto Star, 2/13/11“An engaging, moving and lively read…Each of these nine stories define serendipity and provoke wonder. How can they not?” Christian Science Monitor, 2/14/11“The stories…are sweet and charming…Heart of the City is about what can happen when people let down their guard in a sharp-elbowed, often daunting, city, where routine contact with strangers is a fixture of public life. A random encounter can change everything.” Providence Journal, 2/14/11“The stories touch the heart. They are poignant, compelling, absorbing, romantic, and just flat-out sweet. Reading them, even hardened cynics will feel the urge to hug someone.” New York Journal of Books, 2/14/11
“[A] delightful collection…Richer we are, simply because 18 people happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time—and a writer had enough curiosity, and foresight, to capture their stories.” The Daily Mail, UK, 3/17/11 “A wonderful, life-affirming collection of romances, all the better because they’re real…What really strikes home is the sheer humour, patience and good manners of most of the men, even the modern ones. New York, New York, it sure is a wonderful.”
Brides Magazine, 3/21/11
“Each story is undeniably sweet—even the most hardcore cynic couldn't deny that this book is utterly heartwarming. Definitely an excellent choice if you're looking for some light pre-wedding (or honeymoon) reading!”
Baltimore Jewish Times, 4/15/11 “[A] heartwarming and delightful set of true love stories” and said “Ariel Sabar enchants his readers…I highly recommend this book to those who are searching for something that is both cheerful and enlightening.”