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December 6, 2011

Brooklyn writer pens 'The Street Singer,' a novel based on the Atlantic Yards arena project

Author Stephen Witt's fictional take includes characters based on developer Bruce Ratner and rapper Jay-Z

NY Daily News
by Erin Durkin

Reality-based reporter Erin Durkin reports on a new book by an Atlantic Yards beat reporter not so grounded in reality.

The Atlantic Yards project has inspired a musical, a movie - and now a madcap book by a reporter turned novelist.

Stephen Witt, who covered the project for local papers for years, penned “The Street Singer” - a self-described roman a clef combining his own early years in New York with a gonzo take on the $4.9 billion Prospect Heights project.

“I got into journalism originally because I loved creative writing,” said Witt, who is looking for a publisher for the manuscript but plans to put it out by next spring through his own publishing company if he doesn’t find one.

The book follows a flat-broke subway musician who stumbles into contact with a high-powered developer named Thaddeus Hoover - a thinly veiled take on developer Bruce Ratner.


Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, The notorious Stephen Witt writes a novel based on Atlantic Yards

The notorious Stephen Witt, known for his tendentious articles in the Courier-Life chain and now Our Time Press, is writing a book based on Atlantic Yards--a novel--and the Daily News thinks it's newsworthy.

Here are a couple of lines from the Daily News article:

“I got into journalism originally because I loved creative writing,”
....Witt said he found the project’s twists and turns better suited to an off the wall fictional take than a scholarly account. The story unfolds over six months leading up to the groundbreaking for the new Nets arena, but takes some artistic liberties. “It’s definitely a gonzo telling of it,” Witt said.

Um, he's been taking some artistic liberties all along.

Posted by eric at December 6, 2011 12:10 PM