12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
For three years in the 1920s, H.P. Lovecraft and a small group of literary friends formed what they called The Kalem Club. The group met in coffee houses, ice-cream parlors, and on the streets of New York during a time when a person would think nothing of walking those streets from midnight to dawn. These bohemian days are captured in a new book edited by Mara Kirk Hart and S.T. Joshi. Lovecraft's New York Circle: The Kalem Club, 1924-1927 (Hippocampus Press: New York, 2006).
Mara Hart's father, George Kirk, was a New York bookseller and a member of The Kalem Club, and her book is primarily a collection of delightful letters exchanged between the members of the club. In her introduction, Hart paints a vivid picture of the New York of the 1920s, "before the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, before the Holland Tunnel, when men wore bowler hats and bow ties and carried canes; when flappers wearing short skirts and long pearls danced the Charleston; when double-decker buses down Fifth Avenue and subways to Brooklyn cost only a nickel."
And on a more personal note, Hart writes of her father's friends, "I have grown very fond of the Kalems for their kindness, love, and support of one another, their playfulness, and their generosity. My heart goes out to these men--enthusiastic, articulate, and optimistic, most dreaming of a better future, some remembering a better past."
Lovecraft's New York Circle is certainly essential reading for fans of gothic literature--for the rest of us, it is a delightful glimpse of a small corner of American cultural in a time when things were done differently. Mara Hart is a member of Lake Superior Writers in Duluth, MN.