New York (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
New York: a Novel
Rutherfurd - New York Coverart.png
New York first (UK) edition cover.
Author Edward Rutherfurd
Illustrator Mike Morganfeld (maps)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Historical novel
Publisher Century Hutchinson, Doubleday (US)
Publication date
September 3, 2009
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 1040 pp (first edition) (862 pp US first ed.)
ISBN 978-1-84605-195-1
OCLC 613432261
Edward Rutherfurd talks about New York novel on Bookbits radio.

New York: a Novel is an historical novel by British novelist Edward Rutherfurd, published in 2009 (for the U.S. edition, published by Doubleday, the title is New York: The Novel).


The novel chronicles the birth and growth of New York City, from the arrival of the first European colonists in the 17th century right up to the summer of 2009. As in previous Rutherfurd historical novels, the reader experiences the history of the place through the histories of fictional families who live there. In New York, these families represent the successive waves of immigrants who gave the city its multicultural character.

The early Dutch founders of New Amsterdam are typified by the Van Dyck family, who prosper in trade with the Native Americans; both the local Algonquian tribes and the Mohawk who lived farther up the Hudson Valley. The Van Dycks soon unite with the English Master family. The Van Dyck-Masters remain in New York through the entire saga, providing one of the unifying narrative strands. We also meet Quash, an African slave and unwilling immigrant to New Amsterdam, whose descendants also become part of the New York cultural mix.

As the history progresses through the years, we meet more fictional families: the Irish O'Donnells, the German Kellers, the Italian Carusos, the Jewish Adlers, and the Puerto Rican Camposes. Their intertwining stories, which include looks at the family cultural traditions of the various groups and intercultural relations, play out against the historical backdrop of the great city.

Because the main characters in New York are members of the fictional families, the story lines sometimes take the reader away from the city. One chapter takes place in Georgian London. Another follows Washington's army through Valley Forge to Yorktown. But most of the wanderers return home in the end.

Rutherfurd breaks the narrative into sections by date, twenty-seven in all. Most dates comprise one chapter; a few dates continue through two or three chapters. A set of three well-drawn maps of Manhattan Island helps the reader follow the action as the city grows and evolves. A fourth map, of the New York City region, provides a larger geographical context.

Critical reception[edit]

New York won the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction in 2010.[1]

Links to New York historical references[edit]

Most people have heard of the Statue of Liberty, but many of the historical New York people, places and events in New York: A Novel are not so well known. Following are links to Wikipedia articles on some of these. Links are listed by chapter; chapters with no links are not included.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Langum Charitable Trust
  2. ^ Gotham: a history of New York City to 1898. By Edwin G. Burrows, Mike Wallace. p.188

In his acknowledgments, the author credits two main written reference sources:

External links[edit]

  • Edward Rutherfurd website [1]