In his second book of poems, Stuart Dybek finds extraordinary vitality in the same vibrant imagery that animates his celebrated works of fiction. A brilliant and deft enactment of place, these poems map the internal geographies of characters who inhabit severe and often savage city streets, finding there a tension that transfigures past and present, memory and fantasy, sin and sanctity, nostalgia and the need to forget. Full of music and ecstasy, the poems of Streets in Their Own Ink consecrate a shadowed, alternate city of dreams and retrospection that parallels a modern city of hard realities. Throughout, one finds poetry enlivened by Dybek's signature talent for translating "extreme and fantastic events into a fabulous dailiness, as though the extraordinary were everywhere around us if only someone would tell us where to look" (Geoffrey Wolff).
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
From the prizewinning writer Stuart Dybek comes a superb new work: a novel-in-stories, eleven masterful tales told by a single voice with remarkable narrative power. In I Sailed With Magellan, Dybek finds characters of irrepressible vitality amidst the stark urban landscapes of Chicago's south side; there, the daily experiences of the neighborhood are transformed in the lush imaginative adventures of his hero, the restless Perry Katzek.
There is remarkable music in each of Dybek's intertwined episodes, the rhythm of street life captured in all its emotional depth and unexpected humor: a man takes his young nephew to a string of taverns where the boy sings for his uncle's bourbon; a small-time thug is distracted from making a hit by the mysterious reappearance of several ex-girlfriends; two unemployed youths hatch a scheme to finance their road trip to Mexico by selling orchids stolen from the rich side of town; a young couple's amorous beach adventure is interrupted when an unexpected visitor washes ashore. As these poignant, often funny chapters unfold, Perry grapples toward the exotic possibilities the world offers him, glimpsing them even beneath the at times brutal surface of the inner-city.
Throughout I Sailed With Magellan, fans of Dybek will find the captivating storytelling, the sharp, spare prose, the brilliant dramatization of resilient, inventive humanity that they have come to expect from him.
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