Since the mid-1970s, New York City has been a hub for the rise to dominance and consolidation of the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) industry. This transition from an older regime of industrial manufacturing to a new regime of finance, real estate, and risk-mediated transactions has resulted into new socio-spatial and cultural formations. New York fiction itself has tackled these changes, and an extraordinary exemplar of such literature is Jay McInerney's Brightness Falls (1992). The present article is the outcome of interdisciplinary “field work” that combines analyses of fictional, nonfictional, and critical writing, archival research, geographical, cultural, and political theories. More specifically, this fine-grained critique of the novel and its satellite writings deals with the emerging relationship between the arts and the new FIRE economy, manifest through relations of power in the market place, with consequences upon authorial and publishing practices, rhetoric, and the discourses of everyday life.

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