The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld:
by Justin Hocking
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The "leaving New York" essay has become its own mini-genre. Joan Didion's 1967 elegy to her time in the city, "Goodbye to All That," was the pioneer of the form. In a 2013 collection named after Didion's piece, twenty-eight writers also share how New York lost its luster. This year, Justin Hocking's new memoir, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, takes up the tradition, with another look at the ways in which the young and sort-of-young work out a relationship with their "suffocating, selfish mistress," as Andrew Sullivan has called the city.
Just after turning thirty, Hocking, a self-proclaimed "pickup-truck-driving country boy," left Colorado, and his beautiful skater girlfriend, to move to Brooklyn. He had a modest publishing deal for his anthology, Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End, and
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