Neighbors Who Write – 2022 Edition – West Side Rag

By Nancy Novick

The Upper West Side has been home to writers, from the legendary—Phillip Roth, Joseph Heller, Nora Ephron, to name just a few—to those still aspiring. With the gift-giving season upon us, now is our chance to support our writing neighbors, and enjoy giving or receiving a great read!

The authors featured below are just a sampling of those who have published books in 2022. Please let us know about your favorite UWS authors/books in the comments, and we’ll follow up in the next profile series.

Sally Koslow.

Who better qualified to tell a family saga set on the Upper West Side than an Upper West Side writer who has called the neighborhood home since the 1970s? Written in the voices of three different narrators, Sally Koslow’s The Real Mrs. Tobias, from September this year, explores the relationship between mothers and daughters-in-law as they navigate a family conflict that threatens to tear them apart. Koslow, who is originally from Fargo, North Dakota, is also the author of two other novels set at UWS, The Late Blamed Molly Marxand Little pieces of pink. Her connection to the Upper West Side also extends to her role as a creative writing teacher; Among the many institutions where Koslow has shared his expertise is the Manhattan JCC.

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Terena Elizabeth Bell.

Born in Kentucky Train Elizabeth Bellwho has called the Upper West Side home since 2015, published her first collection of experimental short stories for adults, Tell Me What You See, earlier this month. Bell’s work is timely and provocative, bringing a natural voice and eye to difficult subjects including life in the time of Covid, the future of the planet, and the January 6 uprising. His innovative use of photography and other design elements in his stories is just one reason for Ms. Magazine Tell Me What You See as one of their “December 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us”.

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Steve Metzger.

Steve Metzgers new graphic novel, The Bumble Brothers: Crazy for Comedy, is the first for the award-winning author, whose picture books have sold thousands of copies in the United States and abroad. Drawing on the writer’s love of slapstick comedy, puns, and silly misunderstandings, The Bumble Brothers: Crazy for Comedy, featuring two clueless twins! The first in a series, this book is sure to tickle the funny bone of 7-11 year olds who love anything zany and is the perfect choice for “reluctant readers”. Metzger, who has lived at UWS for more than 25 years, collaborated with fellow Upper West Sider, writer/illustrator Brian Schatell, whose vivid, full-color illustrations bring these vibrant characters to life. Also out of Metzger this year is Animals Thank You, Thank Me, a board book for young children. Learn more at

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Kate McMullan. Photo by Mark McClennon

From chapter books about a lovable and sassy class pig to fresh and funny Greek mythology stories, Kate McMullan work—on page and screen—has attracted generations of young fans. Just out this year, it’s by McMullan This is the tree we planted (preview here), a rhythmic picture book with beautiful illustrations by Alison Friend that tells the story of a group of preschoolers who plant a tree and then watch it grow into a home for robins, squirrels, and more. Kate and her artist husband, Jim, with whom she has collaborated on several titles, have lived on the Upper West Side since 2014. I smell and I’m Dirty books were adapted for “The Stinky and Dirty Show” streaming on Amazon Prime. More about Kate at


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