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This anthologies online feature page includes a brief interview and a call for writers
Featured Anthology: The Subway Chronicles
So these New Yorkers are sitting around after a big meal and kvetching and tall-tale telling about true adventures in a common location. From this table talk the underground literature of The Subway Chronicles emerged .
Equal parts hilarious, poignant, and heartbreaking, The Subway
Chronicles is a journey into New York’s underground with some of today’s
most loved writers
Prominent New York writers join in:
Brief Interview with the Originator/Editor of
The Subway Chronicles:
Amy L Jenkins (AJ) interviews Jacqueline Cangro (JC)
(AJ) How did the Website The Subway Chronicles begin?
(JC) During Thanksgiving dinner, some friends and I were sharing our favorite subway experiences, each trying to "one up" the other with the most interesting or most outrageous story. I realized that if we had those kinds of stories then everyone who has ever ridden the New York City subway did, too. I started the website in March 2002 with just one essay and people really responded. Now the site has readers (and writers) from all over the world, including Sweden, Japan, Australia.
(AJ) How did you attract writers as prestigious as Vivian Gornick and Calvin Trillin (to name a few)?
(JC) It really came down to the accessibility of the subject matter. The subway is the main mode of transportation for New Yorkers, so these well-known authors had stories to tell also. They were just as excited to share their best subway story as the writers who contribute to the website.
(AJ) What was the genesis of the anthology idea?
(JC) Several years after the website was up and running, I thought it would be exciting to expand the concept into another media outlet - in this case, print. I wanted to offer readers material that was new, essays they hadn't read on the website. I started by contacting some of my favorite New York writers to ask if they would contribute. Almost everyone said yes! As a result I think there is a nice mix of writers in the book from established, well-known authors like Francine Prose and Lawrence Block to writers with only a few publications under their belts like Leigh Stolle, Dan Parseliti and Jessie Koester.
(AJ) An unusual aspect of The Subway Chronicle project is the relationship with Amazon Shorts. Can you describe this program in terms of The Subway Chronicles?
(JC) My publisher was the one who introduced me to the Amazon Shorts program. The concept is interesting because it gives readers a chance to know more about the book or the author, a behind-the-scenes look, if you will. The shorts are always new material, not excerpts from the book or previously-published articles. For The Subway Chronicles Amazon Shorts I decided to keep a subway diary of my commute during a two week period. Not only was it great fun for me, but it is a different insider's view to what goes on underground.
(AJ) What question do you wish I’d asked?
(JC) What I really enjoyed most about putting this anthology together was something that came as a surprise and only after I'd received all of the essays. There are 27 contributors to the book and I'd given them each the same instruction: write about an experience you had while riding the New York City subway. For a time I was concerned that since the subject matter was so narrow, I would receive very similar essays. I'm happy to say that wasn't the case at all. Each essay takes on a different aspect of the subway. Stan Fischler chose to focus on childhood experiences, riding the subway to baseball games in the 1930's. David Ebershoff decided to conduct a very informal (and funny) interview with some station workers. Jennifer Toth described what it was like to live in the tunnels like the "mole people." In the end, no two essays were alike, and I think that speaks to the variety of material available. It was a great lesson for me as a writer to look at a subject from every possible angle.
(AJ) Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
(JC) Two things: The first is that you don't have to live in New York or visit often to enjoy the website or book. At the heart of the essays are the basic emotions we all share no matter where you live: love, anger, fear, humor, sadness. Also, I am still accepting submissions for the website and publishing a monthly issue. So if readers have their own subway story they'd like to share, they can stop by the site for the submission guidelines.
(AJ) Thank you Jacqueline Cangro.