Beatyfully written, the wit of Doctorow mixed up history and story in such a way that you never can tell what was real and what came out from his imagination.
I mentally jot down his name for future readings. I highly recommend this book.
Riis believed in air shafts. Air shafts, light and and air, would bring health. He went around climbing dark stairs and knocking on doors and taking flash photos of indigent families in their dwellings. [...] After he left, the family, not daring to move, remained in the position in which they had been photographed. They waited for life to change- They waited for their transformation.
It was a merry scene witn children and adults skating over the white ice, long colourful scarves strwaming from their necks, cheeks and noses red. There was the constant cut-cut of the skate blades on ice. But the boy's eyes saw only the track made by the skaters, traces quickly erased of moments past, journeys taken.
I'll tell you something. In this room today you saw my present lover but also two of my former lovers. We are all good friends. Friendship is what endures. Shared ideals, respect for the whole character of a human being. Why can't you accept your own freedom? Why do you have to cling to someone in order to live?...Continua