An Unerring Ear Oct 3, 2009
In Lush Life, Richard Price uses the police procedural to describe the clash between the old and the new Lower East Side, the immigrant communities and the gentrification of those same communities into restaurants, bars, boutiques and prime real estate, between the projects and the strivers, between the collapsed synagogues and the new highrises.
What's most brilliant and unerring about Price's novel is his ear for dialogue. This is a book, as Eudora Welty has said, that is "written by ear." He captures the voices of the young urban professionals, the police on the Quality of Life Task Force, the African American and Latino youth of the housing projects. In addition, he discloses the simmering race and class tensions beneath the surface of the "new" New York City.