authors, Ben Ryder Howe, book reviews, books, Brooklyn, culture, different, fiction, Gowanus canal, humor, inspirational, john jernigan, Korean, My Korean Deli, New York, non-fiction, opinion, Paris Review, perspective, point of view
I loved the nomenclature of this book, and getting to use the word nomenclature…the author(a senior editor for the Paris Review) and his wife (lawyer) buy a Brooklyn bodega for his hardcore, traditional, no-nonsense Korean mother-in-law. He ends up working there 4-5 nights a week, blocks from the projects and the polluted Gowanus canal.
“Howe and his relatives do spend an awful lot of time failing. The store makes less money than expected even as it is hit with massive tax bills; vendors and deliverymen screw over the new owners, leaving cartons of unwanted products on the floor of the store and then invoicing later. The city also tries to confiscate the deli’s refrigerators and nails Howe for selling tobacco to a minor. Howe’s evocation of the financial knife-edge on which he finds himself is so convincing that even if you step away from the book and go out into the world, you’ll still thrum with low-level panic.”