With the The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York on the verge of appearing in bookstores around the town and online, we begin our series of profiles of contributors to the volume. Today we profile Thomas Augst, the author of the chapter entitled “Melville, at Sea in the City.”

Tom is Associate Professor of English at New York University. He received his doctorate in the History of American Civilization in 1996 from Harvard University. He also holds a masters in History from Harvard (1992) and did his undergraduate work at Yale, where he majored in Literature and History.

He is the author of The Clerk’s Tale: Young Men and Moral Life in Nineteenth-Century America (Chicago, 2003), which was a finalist for the Modern Language Association’s Prize for a First Book. The originality of the book arises from its treatment of the figure of the