Josh Karlen, author of Lost Lustre: A New York Memoir, on tour November 2010

Posted By on September 2, 2010

About Lost Lustre: A New York Memoir

Paperback: 250 pages

Publisher: Tatra Press (October 16, 2010)

Muggings on Avenue C, punk bands at CBGB, youthful romance in Greenwich Village, parties in a nascent SoHo, dropping out from the famous Music & Art High School.  In this episodic, coming of age memoir, Josh Karlen chronicles growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, East Village, and crime-ridden Alphabet City in the 70s and early 80s.  Lost Lustre recaptures a downtown Manhattan at a pivotal time of the city’s history, when New York was suffering its gravest financial crisis and soaring crime, yet also was home for a spectacular resurgence of the arts.  Karlen shares a fascinating personal history of the punk rock scene through a prism of The Lustres, a band that played venues such as CBGB a few years after its stage had held the Talking Heads, Patti Smith and the Ramones.  In the title chapter, Karlen poignantly pays homage ot the band’s charismatic and talented lead singer, whose life in many ways seemed to mirror his times in both its shining creativity and nihilistically destructive force.

“A window into a darker, grittier version of the city…[Karlen’s] memories of living in the rough neighborhood known as Alphabet City are vibrant…”Publishers Weekly

Lost Lustre is a reverberant, strata-rich memoir, written with a relaxed and endearing fluency and modesty. I was engrossed.”–Edward Hoagland, author of NOTES FROM THE CENTURY BEFORE

Listen to basement tapes of The Lustres, circa 1980!


Running My Way

Take the Bus


For more information about Lost Lustre, check out the publisher’s website,

About Josh Karlen:

Josh Karlen, a native New Yorker, grew up on the Lower East Side and in Greenwich Village.  A former journalist, he was a correspondent in the Baltics for United Press International, Radio Free Europe, and other news organizations.

Josh lives in New York City with his wife and two children and is a media relations specialist.



Josh Karlen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 1st:  A Library of My Own

Wednesday, November 3rd:  Wormbook

Tuesday, November 9th:  Rundpinne

Wednesday, November 10th:  The Five Borough Book Review

Monday, November 15th:  Book, Line, and Sinker

Wednesday, November 17th:  Novel Whore

Thursday, November 18th:  Life in Review

Monday, November 23rd:  ‘Til We Read Again

Wednesday, November 24th: So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Date TBD:  Life in the Thumb

Date TBD:  Books in the City


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