Synopses & Reviews
Major new fiction from an acclaimed masterFrom 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.
"[T]hese beautifully written stories teem with aching recollections. They are lyrical odes to wasted lives, youthful desires, vanishing innocence and the transformative power of memory." Publishers Weekly
"Dybek's mesmerizing tales coalesce into an epic of survival and spiritual growth that is, by turns, gritty, surreal, hilarious, tragic, and bittersweet." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[Dybek's] stories remind us that...the old brick-and-asphalt city remains a productive crucible of human drama." The New York Times Book Review
"Genius...A modern master...Dybek is incapable of writing a dull page." Seattle Times
"[Dybek] proves himself to be equally adept at gritty South Side reality and coming-of-age comic touches, with wry and noir intermingling." Library Journal
"Stuart Dybek, the bard of Chicago, and one of America's most important short-story realists, has returned after thirteen years; this is his first work of fiction since the masterful story collection The Coast of Chicago
. The landscape in I Sailed with Magellan
is the fifties-/sixties-era Chicago South Side. In this exceptional collection of eleven interlocking tales, Dybek's turbulent, hard-minded city is altered into something rich and magical." Adrienne Miller, Esquire
(read the entire Esquire review
Following his renowned The Coast of Chicago and Childhood,
story writer Stuart Dybek returns with eleven masterful and masterfully linked stories about Chicago's fabled and harrowing South Side. United, they comprise the story of Perry Katzek and his widening, endearing clan. Through these streets walk butchers, hitmen, mothers and factory workers, boys turned men and men turned to urban myth. I Sailed With Magellan
solidifies Dybek's standing as one of our finest chroniclers of urban America.
About the Author
is the author of two collections of short fiction, The Coast of Chicago and Childhood
and Other Neighborhoods
, as well as a volume of poetry, Brass Knuckles
. A professor of English at Western Michigan University, he lives in Kalamazoo.