The story of a notorious New York eccentric and the journalist who chronicled his life: "A little masterpiece of observation and storytelling" (Ian McEwan).
Joseph Mitchell was a cornerstone of the New Yorker staff for decades, but his prolific career was shattered by an extraordinary case of writer's block. For the final thirty-two years of his life, Mitchell published nothing. And the key to his silence may lie in his last major work: the biography of a supposed Harvard grad turned Greenwich Village tramp named Joe Gould.
Gould was, in Mitchell's words, "an odd and penniless and unemployable little man who came to this city in 1916 and ducked and dodged and held on as hard as he could for over thirty-five years." As Mitchell learns more about Gould's epic Oral History --a reputedly nine-million-word collection of philosophizing, wanderings, and hearsay--he eventually uncovers a secret that adds even more intrigue to the already unusual story of the local legend.
Originally written as two separate pieces ("Professor Sea Gull" in 1942 and then "Joe Gould's Secret" twenty-two years later), this magnum opus captures Mitchell at his peak. As the reader comes to understand Gould's secret, Mitchell's words become all the more haunting.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Joseph Mitchell including rare images from the author's estate.