On a freezing night in the middle of a New York winter, a young immigrant is suddenly awakened by a fire in P. T. Barnum's stable, where he works and sleeps, and soon finds himself at the center of a citywide arson investigation. Determined to clear his name and realize the dreams that inspired his hazardous voyage to America, he will change his identity many times, find himself mixed up with one of the city's toughest and most enterprising gangs, and fall in love with a smart, headstrong, and beautiful woman. Buffeted by the forces of fate, hate, luck, and passion, our hero struggles to build a life-and just to stay alive-on an epic journey that is at once unique and poignantly emblematic of the American experience.
About the Author
Elizabeth Gaffney, a native Brooklynite, studied philosophy and German at Ludwig-Maximillian University in Munich. She is the author of the novels When the World Was Young and Metropolis, and is the translator of You Can't See the Elephants.
“Rewarding . . . vivid tableaus and high drama . . . immigrant dreams and desires on the scrappy streets of Five Points.”
–The New York Times
“Engaged with history, artfully structured, told with dashing wit . . . full of passions and perils, desire and deceit . . . Metropolis teems with imagined life, as a good page-turner should.”
–San Jose Mercury News
“Brawny, old-school storytelling . . . a novel as strong and heady as the brew [Gaffney’s] rakes and roustabouts swill by the pint.”
“Metropolis is more than a literary page-turner; it is also a coming-of-age story for a young and strapping New York.”
“Engrossing . . . fraught with suspense.”