The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia: 1920–1925
Books about Greenwich Village
There are many histories of Greenwich Village, but to learn in depth about the years when the bookshop was in business (1920–1925), readers are encouraged to track down a copy of Carolyn F. Ware's marvelous 1935 sociological study, Greenwich Village, 1920–1930, which looks at the "local people" (immigrant populations) and "villagers" (Bohemians) in great depth.
Ross Wetzsteon. Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910–1960 (2003).
Judith Stonehill. Greenwich Village: A Guide to America's Legendary Left Bank (2002).
Cheryl Black. The Women of Provincetown, 1915–1922 (2001).
Brenda Murphy. The Provincetown Players and the Culture of Modernity (2005).
Books associated with the bookshop's community
More than 100 published writers signed the bookshop door. The following list contains those works that tempted the exhibition curators to stop researching and start reading. Some are in print, many are not but should be available used or online.
Mary Austin. No. 26 Jayne Street (1920). This novel, by a writer best known for her writings about the West, reflects her experiences in New York, including an affair with muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens.
Floyd Dell. The Moon-Calf. The celebrated coming-of-age novel by this Midwestern Bohemian.
Laurie York Erskine. Renfrew of the Royal Mounties and its sequels. Old-fashioned adventures for boys.
John Farrar. The Literary Spotlight (1924). Witty profiles of the literary in-crowd, including many who signed the door.
Stephen Graham. Tramping with a Poet in the Rockies (1921). A marvelous snapshot of the Bohemian ethos of two friends, Stephen Graham and Vachel Lindsay.
Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. The Blank Wall (1947). A very successful suspense novel made into two films: The Reckless Moment (1949) and The Deep End (2001).
Ludwig Lewisohn. The Case of Mr. Crump (1926). The lauded but dark roman à clef about a bad Bohemian marriage.
Edna St. Vincent Millay. Selected Poetry. Modern Library Classics. The quintessential Village poet, she didn't sign the door, but Frank Shay published some of her best-known poems.
Hector MacQuarrie. We and the Baby (1929). He might be my favorite forgotten Bohemian, and his early automobile adventures are tantalizing.
Don Marquis. archy and mehitabel (1927). The first collection of the free-verse adventures of a cockroach and an alley cat, wonderful for readers of all ages.
William McFee. Casuals of the Sea (1916). The best-known novel by the most prominent of the several seafaring writers on the door and a close friend of Christopher Morley.
Christopher Morley. Parnassus on Wheels (1917) and The Haunted Bookshop (1919). Two treats for bibliophiles and wonderful for bookish kids.
Eugene O'Neill. Early Plays. Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics. He was the playwright of the moment, and Frank Shay published some of his earliest works.
William MacLeod Raine. The Big Town Round-Up (1920). A western about a cowboy who visits New York.
Lola Ridge. The Ghetto and Other Poems (1918) and Red Flag (1927). Radical poetry that earnestly captures its moment.
Frank Shay and Pierre Loving. Fifty Contemporary One-Act Plays (1920). A snapshot of this great moment for theater, containing works by many who signed the door.
Thorne Smith. Topper: A Ribald Adventure (1927). This bestselling comic novel sounds like a great weekend read.
Mary Heaton Vorse. Time and the Town (1942). The Provincetown memoir of one of the most astonishing of Bohemian women.