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Potomac Books


Secret Frequencies, Secret Frequencies, 0803243049, 0-8032-4304-9, 978-0-8032-4304-0, 9780803243040, John Skoyles, American Lives, Secret Frequencies, 0803293550, 0-8032-9355-0, 978-0-8032-9355-7, 9780803293557, John Skoyles, American Lives, Secret Frequencies, 0803203403, 0-8032-0340-3, 978-0-8032-0340-2, 9780803203402, John Skoyles, American Live

Secret Frequencies
A New York Education
John Skoyles

2003. 248 pp.
$24.95 s
Out of Stock
2006. 248 pp.
$17.95 t

In this compelling memoir, John Skoyles guides us through 1960s New York. Caught between his uncle Fred, a mob associate and man-about-town, and his aunt Linda, a secretary at Paramount Pictures on Times Square, the sixteen-year-old finds himself exploring everything from the bars and swank apartments of Manhattan's Upper East Side to the flophouses and haunts of Forty-second Street. Secret Frequencies spins in graceful turns from deadpan hilarity to unflinching bleakness as Skoyles encounters New York’s most comic, absurd, and sometimes dangerous seductions.

John Skoyles is the author of a collection of essays and four books of poems, including Definition of the Soul and The Situation. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

“No one who reads this delightful, absorbing account of a teenage boy’s summer of initiation will ever forget the brilliant characters or the remarkable city—New York in the sixties—which John Skoyles brings so eloquently to life.”—Margot Livesey, author of Eva Moves the Furniture

“A deeply engaging and funny book by a marvelous writer.”—Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer prize–winner and author of The Soul of a New Machine and Home Town

“John Skoyles is a wonderful storyteller, by turns hilarious and street-smart and wise. This is a fine and beautifully detailed book.”—Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“A salty, entertaining coming-of-age story with a real-life Sopranos cast.”—Joyce Johnson, author of Minor Characters and Missing Men

“John Skoyles' wistful and sensual memoir can be added to the list of works that embrace the wonder and bustle of New York. Like all good writers, he manages to carve out a little piece of the metropolis for himself.”—Associated Press

“Skoyles draws the sometimes odd (but always recognizable) people inhabiting his corner of New York with subtle, sympathetic strokes and had me laughing, shaking my head, and rooting for him to find his way among them.”—Stephanie Farber, Another Chicago Magazine

“Skoyles captures the enormous mystery and thrill of a young man in the city . . . through a series of carefully detailed scenes, he meets an array of appealing characters: late-night radio DJs, gangsters, beautiful women. It is superior in most ways to the great share of memoirs scattered ashore by the current wave.”—New York Sun

"John Skoyles's memoir has the texture and humor of 'Angela's Ashes,' offering an Italian-American boyhood in Queens and a coming of age in the Manhattan of the 1960s, as told by a wonderfully generous, honest, and vulnerable mid-life poet. . . . [T]he surrounding urban world offers young Skoyles a panorama of colorful characters, incidents, and the 'secret frequencies' of adult lunacy and deviance."—DeWitt Henry, The Boston Globe

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