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I read the last story from this book first, in a bookstore in Chicago a few years ago - I was living there for a summer before my senior year of college, and the person I was dating picked it off the shelf, suggested that story, and wandered away. The narrative so perfectly framed that moment in my life. I read the rest the stories that summer in what now feels like a dream state. Or rather, in that dazed state of longing when you wake up from a particularly beautiful dream.— From Madison's Picks!
The stolid landscape of Chicago suddenly turns dreamlike and otherworldly in Stuart Dybek's classic story collection. A child's collection of bottle caps becomes the tombstones of a graveyard. A lowly rightfielder's inexplicable death turns him into a martyr to baseball. Strains of Chopin floating down the tenement airshaft are transformed into a mysterious anthem of loss. Combining homely detail and heartbreakingly familiar voices with grand leaps of imagination, The Coast of Chicago is a masterpiece from one of America's most highly regarded writers.
“Has claim to comparison with Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and Joyce's Dubliners. . .Dybek's energetic prose produces dazzling effects.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Moving and real and often brilliantly ambitious.” —Los Angeles Times
“A fictional world that is both ordinary and amazing.” —The New York Times
“Irresistible...Mr. Dreiser, Mr. Farrell, Mr. Bellow, Mr. Algren, please say hello to Stuart Dybek. He's one of yours.” —The Village Voice
“Establishes [Dybek] not merely as a talent but as a magician comparable to Eudora Welty and Joy Williams.” —Chicago Tribune
“Tender and unforgiving...No matter where you grew up, after reading these stories you'll have found the coast of Chicago” —San Francisco Chronicle