Mullane Literary Associates

Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal by Joseph Alexiou

Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal Joseph Alexiou

Praise for Joseph Alexiou’s Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal

“A figurative dive into the infamously polluted Gowanus Creek in this engrossing narrative of Brooklyn's development amid shifting economic cycles, waves of immigration, urban decay, and its current renewal...Alexiou draws profound and amusing comparisons between the historical Gowanus and the Brooklyn of today as...the canal itself becomes a character in the story.”

Publishers Weekly

An unusually well-defined case history of the interaction of the private and public sectors generating growth and prosperity through a unique piece of urban infrastructure at a terrible environmental cost that still has not been fully addressed.... Alexiou's narrative is well-researched and moves along in a confident and lively manner.”

Kirkus Reviews

A delightful and little-known history of this small waterway in Brooklyn.....The story of the Gowanus Canal, like Brooklyn itself, is a tale of ambition and neglect, bursts of creative energy and an inimitable character that has captured the imaginations of city-lovers around the world.”

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

“As dark and sludgy as the waters of the Gowanus Canal are, Joseph Alexiou makes them into a brilliant mirror of urban history. In his skillful hands, the canal provides an incisive and entirely unexpected way of understanding Brooklyn—and, more broadly, American cities—from native peoples through factory owners, speculators, gangsters, brownstone bourgeoisie, and body-art hipsters. Here is a book of relentless research and narrative elan.”

Samuel G. Freedman, Columbia University

This well-researched, jauntily written, knowledgeable book explains a lot about our funky, much-abused, lovable waterway, not only to those like myself who live near its shores, but to anyone with an appetite for urban history and a desire to fathom the dramatic, contradictory transformations affecting metropolises today.”

Phillip Lopate, author of Waterfront

“Who could have thought a curious, 1.8 mile long New York waterway would have such a fun, fascinating, hidden history? Journalist Joseph Alexiou brings Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal to life with all its gore, political ramifications, and gentrified glory. An intelligent and impressive debut.”

Susan Shapiro, author of The Bosnia List

About the Author

Joseph Alexiou is the author of the sixth edition of Paris for Dummies and a licensed New York City tour guide. He has lectured on the Gowanus at TedX and the Brooklyn Historical Society, as well as leading popular tours of the Canal for the Brooklyn Brainery. His writing has appeared in the New York Observer, Gothamist and New York Magazine’s Daily Intel.