University of Texas at Austin

The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925

With over a hundred writers represented, the bookshop door is a marvelous source for readers with many different interests. Here is a list of lesser-known and forgotten books we think are worth hunting down at your favorite library or used bookstore:

Mary Austin, No. 26 Jayne Street (1920). This novel, by a writer best known for her writings about the west, reflects upon her experiences in New York, including an affair with muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens.

Floyd Dell, The Moon-Calf (1920). The celebrated coming-of-age novel by this Midwestern Bohemian.

Laurie York Erskine, Renfrew of the Royal Mounties (1922) 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.

Hector MacQuarrie. We and the Baby (1929). MacQuarrie recounts the first trip to the northernmost point of Australia, in a Baby Austin. They averaged six tire punctures a day.

Mander, Jane. The Besieging City: A Novel of New York (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1926). A novel based upon the New Zealander Manders experiences in Greenwich Village.

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 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.

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.


Cheryl Black, The Women of Provincetown, 1915-1922 (2001).

Brenda Murphy, The Provincetown Players and the Culture of Modernity (2005).

Judith Stonehill, Greenwich Village: A Guide to Americas Legendary Left Bank (2002).

Carolyn F. Ware, Greenwich Village: 1920-1930 (1935).

Ross Wetzsteon, Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910-1960 (2003).


Most of these were written by people who signed the door, and all discuss Greenwich Village culture during the years of the bookshop:

Egmont Arens, The Little Book of Greenwich Village: A Handbook of Information Concerning New York's Bohemia, with Which Is Incorporated a Map and Directory. 4th Ed., Rev. and Enl. (1922).

Margaret Anderson, My Thirty Years War (1930).

Maxwell Bodenheim, My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village (1954).

Berton Braley, Pegasus Pulls a Hack: Memoirs of a Modern Minstrel (1934)

Guido Bruno, Fragments from Greenwich Village (1921).

Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return: A Narrative of Ideas (1934).

Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return; A Literary Odyssey of the 1920's, Revised Ed. (1951).

Floyd Dell, Love in Greenwich Village (1926).

Floyd Dell, Homecoming: An Autobiography (1933).

John Dos Passos, The Best Times; An Informal Memoir (1966).

Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Living (1948).

Max Eastman, Love and Revolution: My Journey through an Epoch (1964).

Joseph Freeman, An American Testament: A Narrative of Rebels and Romantics (1936).

Susan Glaspell, The Road to the Temple (1926).

Granville Hicks, Part of the Truth: An Autobiography (1965).

Orrick Johns, Time of Our Lives: The Story of My Father and Myself (1937).

Matthew Josephson, Life Among the Surrealists (1962).

Harry Kemp, Tramping on Life: An Autobiographical Narrative (1922).

Harry Kemp, More Miles: An Autobiographical Novel (1926).

Alfred Kreymborg, Troubadour: An American Autobiography (1925).

Harold A. Loeb, The Way It Was (1959).

Charles Norman, Poets & People (1972).

Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle, Being Geniuses Together 1920-1930, revised, with supplementary chapters, by Kay Boyle ( 1968).

Gorham Munson, The Awakening Twenties: A Memoir-History of a Literary Period (1985).

Man Ray, Self Portrait (1963).

Stuart Rose, Theres a Fox in the Spinney; Memoirs of Fox-hunting, Racing, and Publishing (1967).

Donald Ogden Stewart, By a Stroke of Luck!: An Autobiography (New York, Paddington Press, 1975).

Louis Untermeyer, From Another World; The Autobiography of Louis Untermeyer (1939)

Carl Van Vechten and Bruce Kellner, The Splendid Drunken Twenties: Selections from the Daybooks, 1922-30 (2003).

Mary Heaton Vorse, Time and the Town: A Provincetown Chronicle (1942).

William Carlos Williams, The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams (1951).

Edmund Wilson, The Twenties: From Notebooks and Diaries of the Period, Ed. Leon Edel (1975).

Alexander Woolcott, While Rome Burns (New York, The Viking Press, 1934).