The misadventures of a motley group of artists making their way in New York City
A misfit collection of wannabes, has-beens, and never-weres, the Christopher Park Regulars gather frequently in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Here they share their hopes, dreams, and memories (and in the case of the abnormally obsessed C.C. Wake, an irrational fear of earthquakes), as they wait to become famous.
Andrew T. Andrews left a fancy home, job, and wife behind to struggle downtown as a starving writer and has now almost finished his third book on his best subject: himself. Maria la Hija de Jesús has also come a long way from where she started—when she was a he—to become a bona fide off-off Broadway star . . . when she isn’t spending time in a senior citizen home taking the residents on fantasy excursions to Europe. And then there’s the rice cereal heir, the High Fiber Man, watching helplessly in horror as his mother fritters away his inheritance.
Author Edward Swift’s love of endearing eccentrics, rebels, and oddballs has been well documented in such acclaimed novels as Splendora, Principia Martindale, and A Place with Promise. Now he brings the sideshow from the dust of East Texas to the hustle and bustle of New York City, chronicling the struggles of his irrepressible Regulars in a story that is funny, sad, and totally outrageous.
A gallery of eccentrics and misfits awaits the visitors to Christopher Park, a patch of benches in Manhattan's West Village where the time-honored tradition of being ``different'' lingers on. Swift ( Splendora ) has written an elegant, witty hymn to weirdness. Unlike performances on Broadway, those in Christopher Park are free; no reservation is required to sit and listen to ``regulars'' gossip, sing off-key, plan murders, choreograph a ballet--or a kidnapping. On any day the Rocky Mountain Diva might mangle Puccini, or Maria la Hija de Jesus, a transvestite from Mexico, might argue the meaning of Cinderella with the notoriously dull Jungian analyst Dr. Wormser. Cameo, a Texas beauty, is the most recent addition to the regulars, while 89-year-old novelist Cherokee Rose is no doubt a charter member. (Cherokee's bizarre demise at the hands of a demented creative writing student is perhaps the crowning point of the novel's grotesquery.) Swift's art is far from the bright lights, big city writing currently in vogue. He succeeds in capturing Manhattan because he focuses on a small, out-of-the-way corner and draws his characters with a miniaturist's meticulous care.