Speaking as an author living and working in Hoboken (buy my books!), this town is the perfect place for a writer. Close to New York and the pulsing heart of the publishing world, but separate from it and smaller in scale. Filled with great watering holes from which to get inspiration (or in which to drown your writer’s block), and sporting a thriving literary scene, supported by two book stores that each support the community in different ways. In short, I’m kind of surprised that more writers don’t set up shop here.
So, as a community service, here are four writers currently living in Hoboken who’s work you should check out (and who are not me). Head on down to Little City Books or Symposia Books and pick up some of their titles!
Caren’s been the Editor-in-Chief of The Hudson Reporter for years, and is also a successful writer who’s published two novels, several short stories, and essays in places like McSweeneys, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, among others. Her 2003 novel Carrie Pilby was re-released in 2010 and subsequently adapted into a 2017 film starring Bel Powley and Nathan Lane. In other words, Caren has it going on, and her work is marked by sharp humor, fantastic character development, and a firm grasp of the challenges faced in the modern world—especially by women.
Caren sometimes offers seminars on writing and getting published at Little City Books; keep your eyes peeled and sign up for the next one, you won’t be disappointed.
Pinter’s a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world. The author of six adult thrillers and a Young Adult novel, he runs Polis Books, works as a literary agent, and often appear over at the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and The New Republic. Pinter published five books in his Henry Parker series and announced a sixth, but it never appeared. His thriller The Castle was self-published in 2017—not because he couldn’t sell it, but because its torn-from-the-headlines story (involving a billionaire running for president) needed to come out as quickly as possible, not the 1-2 years later that a traditional publishing cycle requires. He moved to Hoboken a few years ago for the same reason so many New Yorkers wind up here: New York is just too expensive. Their loss is our gain.
In addition to being a prolific writer for The New York Times and the author of several books aimed at younger readers, as well as a prolific blogger and social media master. He’s also been one of the staunchest supporters of Hoboken’s local music and arts scene, writing endlessly about bands and comedians and everyone else. He’s a terrific writer and seemed indefatigable until an emergency surgery in early 2017 resulted in some serious complications and subsequent infections, resulting in the amputation of both his legs. What’s amazing is that Jack continues to write, and to write about his health in blog posts that are funny and fascinating.
Like a lot of other professionals, many authors spend some time in Hoboken, but then move away when they have children, it seems. Plenty of author bios proudly declare they once lived in the Mile Square, which is a shame. I can’t think of a better place to be a writer—though this does mean I get to be the only author in the room when I go for cocktails, which is nice.