Courier Life’s

Pete Hamill wins Brooklyn Book Festival's 'BoBi' award

It’s Hamill time! Newsman and novelist Pete Hamill wins big Brooklyn award

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

A Park Slope-born tabloid journalist-turned-acclaimed novelist has made it his mission to capture the nostalgic spirit of old Brooklyn — and if a new award is any indication he’s doing a pretty good job at it.

Pete Hamill — whose new collection of short stories is set entirely in the borough — will receive the Brooklyn Book Festival’s “BoBi” award recognizing outstanding Brooklyn-centric literature.

Hamill said “The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories” offers a glimpse at old-time Park Slope — prior to cellphones and “before the word ‘friend’ became a verb.”

The book pays homage to the then-blue-collar-and-immigrant-filled neighborhood, which shaped his upbringing, the scribe said.

“ ‘Work’ was the most important word in their vocabulary — and those values were part of my life,” Hamill said.

One of his new stories tells the tale of a young boy who changes the lives of his neighbors; another follows a man seeking to avenge his brother’s death. Many are set in classic neighborhood haunts such as Farrell’s Bar and Grill and the shuttered Rattigan’s, better known to current Park Slopers as the hip restaurant Talde.

Hamill — a former New York Post editor-in-chief whose recent books include “Tabloid City” and “Forever” — credited the Park Slope library on Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street for inspiring him to read and write.

The newsman made the transition to fiction after discovering journalism failed to answer some of life’s big-picture questions.

“Certain kinds of stories demand imagination,” he said.

On Sept. 22, Brooklyn Book Festival organizers will present Hamill with the award, which is chosen by a panel of dozens of authors and publishers.

The panel picks winners “based on a writer’s total body of work” and how it “speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn,” according to festival spokesman Mark Zustovich.

Previous winners include Paul Auster, Walter Mosley, and Edwidge Danticat.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group