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Without Feathers, Woody Allen (1975)

Leaving Midwood, and other tales

Marc Tracy
September 17, 2013

The stories in Woody’s first and best collection anticipate Saturday Night Live sketches: one-joke concepts (“The Whore of Mensa”) milked for maximum one-liners (“Suppose I wanted Noam Chomsky explained to me by two girls?”). But Without Feathers is also Woody’s Goodbye, Columbus, in which he leaves Midwood by spinning tales about the people still there. “To impress a girl at Rutgers,” he tells us, Isaac Weinstein “had moved to Moscow and joined the Red Army.”

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.