In "Beg, Borrow, Steal", Michael Greenberg regales us with his wry and vivid take on the life of a writer of little means trying to practise his craft or simply stay alive. He finds himself doctoring doomed movie scripts; selling cosmetics from an ironing board in front of a women's department store; writing about golf, a game he has never played; and, botching his debut as a waiter in a posh restaurant. Central characters include Michael's father, whose prediction that Michael's 'scribbling' wouldn't get him on the subway almost came true; his artistic first wife, whom he met in a Greenwich Village high school; and, their son who grew up on the Lower East Side, fluent in the language of the street. Then there are Greenberg's unexpected encounters: a Holocaust survivor who, on his deathbed, tries to leave Michael his fortune; a repentant communist who confesses his sins; a man who becomes a woman; a Chilean film-maker in search of his past; and, rats who behave like humans and cease to live underground.
Hilarious and bittersweet, Greenberg's stories invite us into a world where the familial, the literary, the tragic and the mundane not only speak to one another, but deeply enjoy the exchange.
A native New Yorker, Michael Greenberg is the author of the memoir Hurry Down Sunshine, published in sixteen countries and chosen as one of the best books of 2008 by Time and Amazon.com. From 2003-2009 he was a columnist for the Times Literary Supplement. His writing has appeared in such varied places as O, The Oprah Magazine and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York.