In these seventeen wry stories, Bernstein introduces us to the unsung residents of NYC’s garment district—proud lace sewers, unscrupulous ragmen, and salesmen with a penchant for stolen pens. Bernstein is a master of brevity—most stories clock in at under ten pages—and he is most concerned with the particulars of human yearning. A man offers a million dollars for a “first-rate” human heart. An engineer chooses the suit he will wear every day for the rest of his life. A funeral salesman discovers the deadly power of the pastrami sandwich. In their breadth, these stories capture a New York that recedes further into memory every year: a garment district populated by people with at least a passing acquaintanceship with the old country and older ways of making things.
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