Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life, By Michael Greenberg

Bite-size stories from the Big Apple

I loved this collection of autobiographical short essays by Michael Greenberg, initially commissioned by the Times Literary Supplement.

It illuminates his relationship with his uncompromising father, the son of Ukrainian immigrants, as well as his own work as a writer. The occupier of many menial jobs through the years, Greenberg has a natural affinity with the working-class of New York, and his lack of complacency about what he does keeps his writing fresh and urgent. Admittedly, in one rare moment of despair, he once followed a smartly-dressed businessman out of the subway and all the way to his office door, just to see what another life might be like. Fortunately for us, he was never seriously tempted.