Giant Steps Press
New York at Twilight is a collection of intersecting short stories that take place during the twilight hour amidst the city's many neighborhoods and ethnicities. Part comedy of human foible, part tribute to the city and its citizens, part tour guide to its haunts and history, these tales celebrate the Big Apple at its weirdest and eeriest throughout the decades from the 1960s to the present.
Among its Twilight Zone-ish plots: an upstate commuter ends up buried under the floorboards in the house of the archer of death; after choosing X as her Confirmation name in honor of Malcolm X, a young Irish Catholic maiden makes a life-changing pilgrimage to the RKO move palace in Flushing; a famous fictional New York character comes alive and writes his dead author an email from the Hudson River; a Puerto Rican in a state prison on Staten Island hears the moon call him to a new vocation; a Greek college student from Astoria seeking the sexual revolution discovers in the West Village why there is evil in the world; in the East Village a yoga teacher and translator of Kabir has a Kabir-like experience during the summer blackout; a woman in the Bronx coaxes her husband into a becoming a walrus thanks to the Beatles; a Gotham reporter gets more than she bargains for when she meets a magus of twilight's blue hour; a light-skinned West Indian black man undergoes a trial by fire in his Chinatown loft as Rodney King gets beaten up by the LAPD on TV; while dangling over Newtown Creek in a rental car on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a downtown diva phones the Empire State Building with a confession of love; a young couple share a hallucination's cosmic reckoning while hiking the Financial District under the influence of magic mushrooms; hit by a car in Central Park, a man discovers a portal to other worlds.
Reviews & Acclaim
As marvelous a 'tearing apart [of] the boxed-in world' as it gets. Detailing the ordinary mash-up of Gotham as if one could bomb the dead back to life, these 13 tales--with a nod to Salinger's depictions of youth alienation and innocence, but also echoing traditions out of Kerouac, Burroughs, Pound, Whitman, and Poe--are each tied together by strangely healing moments of sacred awareness as his parade of erotic, confused, and consciousness-seeking characters search for the luminous promise of their being. Like some 'forbidden chapter of the American Way Gone Wrong,' New York at Twilight turns our 'spinal dials soaked in terror' of becoming a ghost in one's own skin so that we may see 'the abandoned road map of each other's face for directions forward.'
Jim Cohn, Director of the Museum of American Poetics
While somehow becoming everything from a patently uninnocent Catholic girl busting out of All in the Family Queens to a variously privileged sex addict ordering in from his luxury Manhattan loft, Kirpal Gordon maps a Vedic history of New York that forever changes the topography-not to mention your view of the Empire State Building. Serving language too beautiful for words, Gordon reminds us why we read and write. If you're wondering where the beat has gone, it's here, now, in this groundbreaking collection.
Carrie Schneider, author of American Yoga
The greatest compliment a reader can give an author is the wish that the story would never end which is what I continuously experienced while reading New York at Twilight. Each tale could have morphed into a novel or a major feature film. Gordon skillfully crafts scrumptious muffalettas of luminosity and economy that one can't help but crave more. His literary riffs, mesmerizing metaphors and uncanny plot twists remind me of the solos of heavyweight jazzmen like Coltrane or Rollins, blowing well-ruminated ideas that seem to flow spontaneously in the moment of creation from the primeval fun house of his mind.
John Kruth, author of Rhapsody in Black: A Biography of Roy Orbison