I Sailed with Magellan
Return of a Master
A review by Adrienne Miller
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. Each of these stories follows the escapades, real or imagined (and many of them erotic), of a Polish-American boy named Perry Katzek. In the greatest of these stories, Perry explores the terrain of his own desire; these pieces are infused with Dybek's moral intelligence and wisdom, and achieve a kind of elegiac quality. In "We Didn't," Perry and his young lover discover the body of a drowned woman ("Her hair was brown and tangled in a way that even wind or sleep can't tangle hair, tangled as if it had absorbed the ripples of water—thick strands, slimy-looking like dead seaweed."). "Blue Boy," about a sick baby ("The first time I saw him, before I knew about his illness, I thought that he must have been sucking on a ballpoint pen.") is a taut, devastating meditation on loss and grief.
to Esquire and Save 75%
Get 12 fantastic issues of Esquire magazine
for only $8. The best culture, entertainment, style, financial advice, women
and more delivered right to your door every month ? at an incredible 81% savings
off the newsstand price! What could be better... or easier?
here to subscribe now!