|Local author strikes literary gold|
|Written by Gloria Pazmiño|
|Tuesday, February 22, 2011|
Washington Heights resident Matthew Gallaway published his first novel late last year, The Metropolis Case.
His muses include 19th Century Paris, the streets of Washington Heights, the architecture of big cities like New York, a little Pittsburgh, and music – the most beautiful muse of all.
Matthew Gallaway, Pittsburgh native and a Washington Heights resident, has made his entry into the literary world. He’s been writing for over ten years and now with the publishing of his debut novel The Metropolis Case, Gallaway is quickly jumping to the top of must read authors and review-acclaimed novelists.
Published late last year, the book has received favorable reviews from the likes of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post.
Yet Gallaway appears as just a regular guy. He likes cappuccinos and enjoys a good conversation; his demeanor is kind, unintimidating, and welcoming. Gallaway publishes the MatthewGallaway blog, where among the local blogger universe, he posts his reflections, his personal life, and photographs of the often striking landscapes seen from his home window, a salient sunset or a glittering George Washington Bridge. Gallaway’s blog offers a tiny yet picturesque window into what inspires him with a hint of uptown living.
The Metropolis Case takes four characters through a multilayer story unfolding at different times. The setting switches between cities and countries, going from the past and moving forward tying all the characters together with a unifying link: music.
Gallaway, who came to New York City to study law at New York University, worked on his draft of The Metropolis Case for close to eight years, finally coming up with a manuscript he was confident in submitting to publishers and agents.
The novel stars a group of four characters: Martin, a lawyer who lives through Sept. 11 in New York and is hoping to change his life; Anna, a soprano from Pittsburgh who gives up a promising international career during the 1960s; Maria, a younger soprano who attends Julliard in the 1980s; and Lucien, a talented but confused singer.
Gallaway, who grew up listening to indie rock, was in a band, and as he conceived the novel had a newfound affinity for opera, wanted to bring the commonality of music to the characters of the book. The original score of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” plays a major a role in the intricate and literarily complex story. But don’t be intimidated: Gallaway’s writing makes for an interesting read that keeps the reader emotionally connected with each turning page, without having to be a fan of opera or know anything about it.
As a new novelist, Gallaway masters grabbing the reader, a feat he said was not always easy, but through the collaboration of him and his editors, he was able to secure the reader’s attention.
The author draws parallels between the cities in which his novel takes place, from his own experience having lived in Paris, grown up in Pittsburgh, and made his home in Washington Heights, Gallaway borrows their architecture, their history, giving the characters different stages to unravel in.
With a struggling artist who moves into an apartment in Washington Heights in the 1980’s, Northern Manhattanites are sure to find snippets of their streets in Gallaway’s novel, which is not just an intricate, complex, and multilayered novel, but also a rewarding read, that leaves the audience looking forward to Gallaway’s next work.