Author: Michael Greenberg
Publisher: Other Press
ISBN: 978-1-59051-341-5

Click Here To Purchase Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life

Here is another example when I finished a book and asked, “Who is this writer and why have I not heard of him before?”

Michael Greenberg, author of Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life is also the author of the memoir Hurry Down Sunshine which was published in sixteen countries and chosen as one of the best books of 2008 by Time, the San Francisco Chronicle,, and the Library Journal. He is a columnist for the Times Literary Supplement. He has also contributed to several magazines and journals.

In his latest tome, Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life Greenberg crafts a delightful series of essays portraying his painful and sometimes humorous experiences of growing up and eventaully becoming a writer.

The book's opening chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book as it depicts Greenberg's Jewish roots growing up in NewYork, the son of a scrap dealer. Greenberg's father considered him to be a waste, as he was not interested in entering the family business but would rather become a writer. According to Greenberg, his father once asked him, “Which do you think is worth more, a commodity or some goddamn idea.” Greenberg would taunt his father with a line from one of his poems, “Which do you think is worth more, flesh or steel?” These confrontations led to many violent fights and in his late teens Greenberg left home to pursue his dream of becoming an author. Little did he realize that the path to the promised land wasn't going to be smooth, however, in the process his adventures did provide him with a great deal of fodder for his furture literary works. And much of this is reflected in his vibrant essays that are written with such finesse and accurate observations that you can't help being drawn in.

The diversity of the stories is the greatest asset of this book. Greenberg is like the prolific raconteur whom you could sit down with at a bar and easily spend hours just enjoying yourself as he entertains you with his sketches of his social milieu as well as his thoughts concerning a wide variety of topics including his Jewish identity, family, conflict, literature, and a host of other stimulating topics. And at times, he is even hilarious as he tells us about his dog Eli, whom he and his wife exiled to a friend due to his tendency to bite children. The friend's descripton of Eli was “that he was the first dog that he failed to find a good rapport with even though he tried to encourage him to develop his own interests, but he has not sense of autonomy.” Another is about a friend living on Cape Breton Island who invites Greenberg, his wife and son to visit them one summer. The friend insists, to his horrow, that he must kill a hen.

Click Here To Purchase Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life