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Slaves of New York

Slaves of New York

  • reading group guide
Meet the denizens of New York City: artists, prostitutes, saints, and seers. All are aspiring toward either fame or oblivion, and hoping for love and acceptance. Instead they find high rents, faithless partners, and dead-end careers. But between the disappointments come snatches of self-awareness, and a strange beauty in their encounters with one another.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671745240 | 
  • May 1991
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Reading Group Guide

Slaves of New York
Tama Janowitz

The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion for Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York. We hope that these ideas will enrich your discussion and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Many fine books from Washington Square Press include Reading Group Guides. For a complete listing, or to read the Guides on-line, visit
1. In "Modern Saint," how does the narrator's relationship with her wealthy father affect her decision to become a prostitute?
2. In "Engagements," what is the connection between Ray's fetish for women's shoes and the apartment renovation?
3. What statement does "You and the Boss" make about pop culture?
4. In the story "Life in the Pre-Cambrian Era," Marley is very egotistic. Is this relevant to the content of his an, or just contingent on his being an artist?
5. What does the cat symbolize in "Snowball"?
6. Eleanor, the narrator of "Who's on First" states "more than ever, I realize everyone I know is just playing at being a grown up, I have to include myself." Explain this in relation to the story.
7. In "Turkey Talk," what is the connection between art and food?
8. In the story "Physics," how do random events lead the narrator to the decision to have a baby?
9. Is the cat in the story see more

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