Urban Fold

The Books of Moses

Robert Moses, New York's controversial master builder, is the subject of a new series of novels.

"The progeny to date of the love affair [with Robert Caro's 'The Power Broker'] that began in 2006 are two novels in a projected five-volume series titled "The Five Books of Moses." They present a fictionalized account of Moses and his impact on New York."

"The first novel, "The Swing Voter of Staten Island," was published last year and has sold 5,000 to 7,000 copies in hardback, according to Akashic. The second, "The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx," which deals in part with the building of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the 1950s, will appear next month."

"Remarkably, given the man's vast impact on New York, the novels appear to be the first fictionalized portrayals of Moses to be published, and among a notably short list of artistic works in any medium about him."

"Mr. Nersesian (pronounced nur-SEHZ-ee-un) thinks this scarcity has as much to do with the daunting stature of Mr. Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning work as with the scale of Moses' achievements. Despite growing revisionism about the ultimately negative conclusions reached by Mr. Caro, "The Power Broker" remains very much a holy text among nonfiction books about New York's infrastructure, a feeling Mr. Nersesian ardently shares."

Full Story: Writing the Myth of Moses

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