American Classic

Oh Lawd,
I'm on my way.
I'm on my way
To a Heav'nly Lan'...

The Broadway play Porgy opened on this day in 1927, and on this day in 1935 the George Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway. Although the 1925 Dubose Heyward novel, Porgy, is source for both stage productions, it ends with a defeated and deserted Porgy sitting on Catfish Row, "an irony of morning sunlight" shining on his losses. The stage productions turned this around by having Porgy call, "Bring my goat!" -- described by Stephen Sondheim as "one of the most moving moments in musical theater history" -- and then, to the tune of "Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way," head for New York and his beloved Bess.


Joseph Horowitz's just-published On My Way makes the famous stage ending the centerpiece of his "Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian." As director of both the stage and musical productions, it was Mamoulian who penned both "Bring my goat!" and the closing song.


Daybook is contributed by Steve King, who teaches in the English Department of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. His literary daybook began as a radio series syndicated nationally in Canada. He can be found online at


Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.