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Download Grand Central Winter, Expanded Second Edition: Stories from the Street Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Grand Central Winter, Expanded Second Edition: Stories from the Street, by Lee Stringer Click for printable size audiobook cover
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In the underground tunnels below Grand Central Terminal, Lee Stringer—homeless and drug-addicted for eleven years—found a pencil to run through his crack pipe. One day he used it to write. Soon writing became a habit that won out over drugs, and before long Stringer had created one of the most powerful urban memoirs of our time.

With humane wisdom and a biting wit, Stringer chronicles the unraveling of his seemingly secure existence as a marketing executive and his odyssey of survival on the streets of New York. Whether he is portraying “God’s corner,” as he calls 42nd Street, or his friend Suzi, a hooker and “past-due tourist” whose infant he sometimes babysits, whether he recounts taking shelter underneath Grand Central by night and collecting cans by day or making a living hawking Street News on the subway, Lee Stringer conveys the vitality and complexity of a down-and-out life.

Rich with small acts of kindness, humor, and even heroism amid violence and desperation, Grand Central Winter offers a touching portrait of our shared humanity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stringer knows full well that freedom begins between the ears. It is the discovery of this freedom that liberates the heart.”

    Colum McCann, National Book Award winner

  • “Stringer gives us the long view of New York’s underbelly, born of pain but delivered with style and heart.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Lee Stringer’s] writing is edgy and pointed and sometimes startlingly funny.”

    New York Times

  • Grand Central Winter is, in fact, a subversive work. Its characters and stories fly in the face of the most hallowed stereotypes that American society holds about homeless and near-homeless people.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • Grand Central Winter contains surprisingly entertaining vignettes, as the author is blessed with a light touch as well as empathy for his fellow down and out. You can imagine his characters—hookers and junkies and people who’ve fallen just off the edge—in a lyrical, neo-realist Disney film about New York.”


  • “While such vivid observations would be impressive for any writer, they seem nearly miraculous when you consider that they were drafted while the author was living on the street under the duress of drug addiction.”

    Time Out New York

  • “In this candid, sad, yet upbeat memoir…Stringer possesses a sharp eye for the street and the rich, sagacious talent of a storyteller.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The book gives full humanity to its troubled characters and homes in on the motivations, strategies, and relationships of people surviving on the streets.”

    Library Journal

  • “A unique and incisive memoir of street life that neatly eviscerates all stereotypical images of the homeless…Stringer’s crisp detail, straight-no-chaser wit, and uncompromising frankness are as bracing as his subject is significant.”


  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction
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About the Author

Lee Stringer’s journey from childhood homelessness in the 1960s to adult homelessness in the ’80s to his present career as a writer and lecturer, as told in Sleepaway School and Grand Central Winter, is one of the great odysseys of contemporary American life and letters. Stringer, the only board member of Project Renewal who is also a former patient of the facility, has demonstrated that writers are made, not born. He is the two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award and, in 2005, a Lannan Foundation Residency. He is a former editor and columnist of Street News. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of other publications, including the Nation, New York Times, and Newsday. He lives in Mamaroneck, New York, where he also serves on the board of the Mamaroneck Public Libraries.