2013-08-07 / Front Page

Three Authors From Queens

by nicolas fernandes

While the borough is not famous for producing writers, several renowned authors have lived in Queens.
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, but moved to New York at age 17 to attend Horace Mann School for Boys in Brooklyn before studying at Columbia University. When writing some of his early works, he lived with his parents in Ozone Park. His 1957 novel, On the Road, was based on road trips he took in the 1940s to Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Mexico City with a friend, which were filled with sex, drugs and jazz. The novel quickly became an American classic that characterized the Beat Generation.
Author and lecturer Dale Carnegie who achieved success with his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People was living in Forest Hills when he died in 1955. Originally from Missouri, Carnegie was a talented public speaker since childhood. He began his career as a salesman before realizing that he could make money as a public speaker. Carnegie began lecturing at the YMCA before appearing in front of  larger crowds and eventually forming his lectures into books. How to Win Friends and Influence People became a bestseller and remains popular after more than 75 years in publication. Other books Carnegie published include How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, The Quick and Easy Way To Effective Speaking and How To Enjoy Your Life And Your Job.
Irina Reyn, Moscow native who is best known for her novel, What Happened To Anna K., lived in Rego Park as a child and currently divides her time between Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. What Happened To Anna K. was published in 2008 and is a modernized version of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, set in 20th century Rego Park.
“For me, the battle between tradition and modernity played out most powerfully on the streets of Queens, specifically Rego Park, where so many Russian immigrants were reconstructing their lives,” Reyn said in an interview.
Reyn combined her love of the classic novel with her Russian background and experiences living in Queens to write the novel.
Reyn writes book reviews for publications such as The Moscow Times, The Los Angeles Times and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her fiction and essays have been published in several anthologies.

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