By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Renowned journalist, essayist and fiction writer Pete Hamill embodies the Brooklyn literary spirit. Born in Park Slope, he left school at the age of 16 to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, while attending night classes at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. He began his career as a journalist after serving in the U.S. Navy, and wrote often about both domestic and international wars and conflicts. But in spite of his international experience, Hamill has always maintained and valued his Brooklyn ties. In fact, his memoirs and novels so poignantly illustrate his loyalty to Brooklyn that in 2012 he was awarded the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Best of Brooklyn Inc. (“BoBi”) Award, which is presented each year to an author whose work conveys the spirit of Brooklyn.
Hamill will be appearing on Thursday, Nov. 7 at Greenpoint’s WORD Bookstore, where he will speak about his collection of Brooklyn-centric stories, “The Christmas Kid.” This nostalgic collection sheds light on the Brooklyn that once was, enlivening the borough through the eyes of a devout Brooklynite. “Brooklyn is my Old Country, my true home place, the place that shaped me, the place where I learned to read, to listen, to fill myself with visions,” Hamill said when he learned that he won the BoBi award. “The place of music and laughter and decency, punctuated now and then by tragedy. I will carry that Brooklyn with me to my grave.”
The Nov. 7 event will begin at 7 p.m. WORD is located at 126 Franklin St. in Greenpoint.
Hamill is the author of 18 books, including the best-selling “A Drinking Life,” the novels “Snow in August,” “Tabloid City” and “Forever,” and a collection of short stories, “The Christmas Kid,” to be released in October. He also served as editor-in-chief of the New York Post and the Daily News.