In the latest season of Revisionist History, the podcast host Malcolm Gladwell talks about his theory about autobiographies and memoirs. He says that the books written by very famous people are usually incredibly boring, as they need to play it safe in order to avoid mass media scrutiny. Gladwell continues, saying, “But the memoir of the person under the general, or the president, or the CEO, the person you’ve never heard of? That person has a lot less to lose. And their memoirs are where the gold lies.” With that in mind, you may have never heard of Victor Corona before, but that makes Night Class: A Downtown Memoir all the more exciting. The book has already generated some buzz as one of Barnes & Noble’s “12 Must-Read Indie Books Coming This Summer,” and its likely to be one of the most captivating books of the summer.
The story follows Corona’s adventures in downtown New York when he was younger, taking part in the nightclub and art scene. Corona is now a sociology professor at NYU, making him an astute observer who can turn his personal story into a grander view of the history of New York. His CV also includes other notable entries that make this book so captivating, like his time spent as an assistant to Michael Alig, a notorious club promoter who spent 17 years in prison for manslaughter.
As noted in the New Yorker, Corona is launching his book at Rizzoli Bookstore on Thursday, July 13 at 6 p.m. If you happen to live in East Hampton, you can also attend the 2017 East Hampton Library’s Authors Night featuring a number of personalities including Alec Baldwin, Robert Caro, and Dick Cavett.
Victor Corona isn’t teaching any courses at CALA this fall (though keep an eye out for possible classes in the future). If you’re interested in writing your own memoir, though you may want to check out Jumpstart Your Memoir being offered this summer, or Writing Your Memoir which will take place in the fall.