Brighton Beach Memoirs is part one of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy: a portrait of the writer as a young teen in 1937 living with his family in a crowded, lower middle-class Brooklyn walk-up. Eugene Jerome, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn: formidable mother, overworked father, and his worldly older brother Stanley. Throw into the mix his widowed Aunt Blanche, her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters and Grandpa the Socialist and you have a recipe for hilarity, served up Simon-style. This bittersweet memoir evocatively captures the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as his father states "if you didn't have a problem, you wouldn't be living here."