Synopses & Reviews
This anthology of short, personal essays brings a vibrant oral tradition to the page through the work of 2nd Story, a Chicago-based collective working to build community through storytelling. These original, unpublished essays are adapted from the groups monthly events, which fuse page, stage, and sound to deliver a unique, live literary and theatrical experience. Contributors include Sam Weller, Patricia Ann McNair, Eric Charles May, and Randall Albers.
"'We drove around Evanston, Illinois in Lisa's Toyota RAV4 with Xena sitting in the back seat. We pulled into an empty Dominick's parking lot, hot-boxed the RAV4, and blew smoke in Xena's face.' This is just one of many memorable moments to come from this collection of 23 essays by members of the 2nd Story Group in Chicago. The book is filled with laugh-out-loud gags and witty anecdotes, not to mention heartbreak that's often underplayed, yet still impossible to miss. One need only look as far as the stories' titles to get a sense of this anthology's unique flavor. There's Byron Flitsch's 'Dirty Dancing,' Molly Each's 'A Prostitute Comparison,' the aforementioned 'Xena: Cardboard Princess' by Sara Kerastas, and Patricia Ann McNair's heartfelt closing piece 'Return Trip.' The stories are endlessly relatable and their tellers are true masters of the craft, able to make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to do it all over again once you've finished. This collection will demand, and receive, return trips from its readers. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A whole world retold. Life-saving. Hopeful. They really know how to tell a story.” —Dorothy Allison, author, Bastard Out of Carolina
About the Author
Andrew Reilly is the director of publications at 2nd Story. His writing has appeared in Alarm, the A.V. Club, and Norman Einsteins Sports & Rocket Science Quarterly. Megan Stielstra teaches writing and performance at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Chicago and is the literary director for 2nd Story. She is the author of Everyone Remain Calm. They both live in Chicago.