A Fine Romance by David Lehman

“David Lehman’s A Fine Romance wittily explores the enormous contribution of Jewish writers and composers to the American musical scene. Lehman finds Jewish influence, or what he calls ‘a plaintive undertow,’ even in such unlikely upbeat anthems as Gershwin’s ‘Love Walked In.’ His love-struck history is itself a major entertainment.”-John Ashbery, author of Three Poems

Watch this video trailer for A Fine Romance by acclaimed poet, anthologist, and cultural critic, David Lehman. Lehman guides us through America in the golden age of song, when “Embraceable You”; “White Christmas”; “Easter Parade”; “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”; “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine”; “My Romance”; “Cheek to Cheek”; and countless others became nothing less than the American sound track. The stories behind these songs and the composers and lyricists who wrote them give voice (one that has a discernible Yiddish accent) to a specifically American saga of love, longing, assimilation, and transformation. Lehman’s analytical skills, wit, and exuberance infuse this book with an energy and tone like no other: at once sharply observant, personally searching, and attuned to the songs that all of us love.

Join cultural critic David Lehman as he delves into the American Songbook and the Jewish composers who penned much of it. Sing along with live performances of some of America’s most beloved classic tunes.
Date & Time: Tue, Nov 10, 2009, 8:15pm
Location: 92nd Street Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
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Check out the reader’s guide here