Clarinetist Ike Morphy, his dog Herbie Mann, and a pair of pigeons who roost on his air conditioner are about to be evicted from their apartment on West 106th Street, also known as Duke Ellington Boulevard. Ike never had a lease, just a handshake agreement with the recently deceased landlord; and now that landlord’s son stands to make a killing on Apt. 2B.Centering on the fate of one apartment during the height of New York’s real-estate boom, Ellington Boulevard’s characters include: the Tenant and his Dog; the Landlord; the Broker, an out-of-work actor (whose new profession finally allows him to afford theater tickets); the Broker’s new Boyfriend, who composes a musical about the sale of 2B—“I’m so single/can’t commingle/I have no covenant or trust./Is there no one I can lien on if this boom goes bust?” There’s also the Buyer, a trusting young editor at a dying cultural magazine, who falls in love with the Tenant; the Buyer’s Husband, a disaffected graduate student; and the Buyer’s Husband’s Girlfriend, a children’s book writer with a tragic past.With the humor and poignancy that made Langer’s first novel, Crossing California, a favorite book of the year among critics across the country, Ellington Boulevard is an ode to New York. It’s the story of why people come to a city they can’t afford, take jobs they despise, sacrifice love, find love, and eventually become the people they never thought they’d be—for better and for worse.
Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat
Clarinetist Ike Morphy, his dog Herbie Mann, and a pair of pigeons who roost on his air conditioner are about to be evicted from their apartment on West 106th Street, also known as Duke EllingtonBoulevard.