F. Scott Fitzgerald characterized the sight of the New York City skyline as offering the "wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world." This compilation of classic and contemporary short fiction recaptures the city's spirit of excitement and drama with stories inspired by life in the great metropolis. Dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, the fourteen tales unfold in bizarre creatures Harlem, Brooklyn, Washington Heights, lower and midtown Manhattan, and other atmospheric urban settings.
The chronologically arranged anthology opens with Herman Melville's 1853 tale "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street." Subsequent stories include Edith Wharton's "The Other Two," in which a new marriage is shadowed by a pair of former husbands; "Glory in the Daytime," Dorothy Parker's tale of a star-struck woman who eagerly anticipates meeting one of her Broadway idols; and "Negocios" by Junot Díaz, which recounts an immigrant father's scheme to reunite his family. Additional contributors include O. Henry, Stephen Crane, P. G. Wodehouse, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Edwidge Danticat, Simon Rich, and Lara Vapnyar.