From the Back Story
. . . When writing Winter’s Tale, I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn and was obsessed with every aspect of the city, to the point of walking, wandering really, ten to twenty miles a day to gather sight, sound, and incident, as if every view, every ray of light that would come from the west at sunset from beneath a lid of black cloud and turn the city gold, every face, and every snatch of overheard conversation, were a diamond that I would put in my pocket. Often I would go for days at a time to the New York Historical Society, the books and paintings there drawing me so deeply into the city’s past that I lost track of where I was. I had wanted to catch a fleeting presence that I was afraid would soon vanish completely, but then discovered that this presence, as if in a parallel dimension, was throbbing with a vitality that threatened to overflow its banks. It seemed as if everyone and every thing that had come before had left a mark, and that each mark and trace, when recognized and honored, would rise in a great commotion like a flight of many angels. It was as if every day I would have to say to myself, ‘Oh God, what a magnificent city, and how lucky I am to have seen it’ . . .