The quintessential depiction of 1980s New York and the downtown scene from the artist, actor, musician, and composer John Lurie.
In the tornado that was downtown New York in the 1980s, John Lurie stood in its vortex. After founding the band The Lounge Lizards with his brother in 1979, Lurie quickly became a centrifugal figure in the world of outsider artists, cutting-edge filmmakers, and cultural rebels. Now, Lurie vibrantly brings to life the whole wash of 1980s New York as he develops his artistic soul over the course of the decade and comes into orbit with all the prominent artists of that time and place, such as Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Boris Policeband, and especially Jean-Michel Basquiat, the enigmatic artistic prodigy who spent a year sleeping on Lurie’s floor on East Third Street.
It may feel like Disney World now, but in The History of Bones, the East Village, through Lurie’s clear-eyed reminiscence, comes to teeming, gritty life. The book is full of grime and frank humor—Lurie pulls no punches and bars no holds in his descriptions of the frothy whirlpool of the East Village at that time. His story is a journey back to one of the most significant moments in our cultural history, one whose reverberations are still strongly felt today.
History may repeat itself, but the way downtown New York happened in the 1980s will never happen again. Luckily, through this beautiful memoir, we all have a front-row seat.
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- Books of The Year 2021