In Tomasz Jedrowski's Swimming in the Dark, set in the early 1980s, the narrator, Ludwik, commutes to midtown Manhattan for work. The text makes clear that he has to cross a river to get there:
This morning, like every morning, I took the subway across to Manhattan. (p. 121)
Or when he is wandering around in his neighborhood:
I walked to the waterfront, to the broken-down piers. Across the foamy river the skyline of Manhattan was drawn against the sky ... (p. 185)
Where in the New York metropolitan area does Ludwik live? There are four possibilities:
- Brooklyn, across the East River
- Queens, likewise across the East River
- The Bronx, across the Harlem River
- New Jersey, across the Hudson (if "subway" refers to the PATH train, which, although underground, isn't technically part of New York City's subway system).
Staten Island, across Upper New York Bay, can be discounted, since there's no subway from there to Manhattan.
Another possible clue is that when calling his friend Jarek from Third and East 43rd, an intersection near his Manhattan workplace, Ludwik says that Jarek works "down in Queens" (p. 121). This perhaps suggests that Ludwik doesn't himself live in Queens. But someone with a better grasp of the geography of New York city and the vocabulary its denizens use to describe the various boroughs and neighborhoods, or someone who has picked up other indications from the novel, might be able to locate the area where Ludwik lives more precisely.