As a young newspaper reporter in 1930s New York, Joseph Mitchell interviewed fan dancers, street evangelists, voodoo conjurers, not to mention a lady boxer who also happened to be a countess. Mitchell haunted parts of the city now vanished: the fish market, burlesque houses, tenement neighborhoods, and storefront churches. Whether he wrote about a singing first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers or a nudist who does a reverse striptease, Mitchell brilliantly illuminated the humanity in the oddest New Yorkers.
These pieces, written primarily for The World-Telegram and The Herald Tribune, highlight his abundant gifts of empathy and observation, and give us the full-bodied picture of the famed New Yorker writer Mitchell would become.
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