Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer, and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him—whether to support him or to drag him under—is the adult world of postwar Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty, and the redeeming power of imagination. Here are charlatans, operators, alien abductees, schoolyard nudists, and fast girls with only months to live. At the center of it all is a boy learning to navigate the compromises, disillusionments and regrets that come with the territory of living. Mixing memoir and invention, the forty-one short stories in Barry Gifford's first book for young adults bring a city—and a boy's growing consciousness—to vivid, unflinching life.
BARRY GIFFORD is the author of more than forty published works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages. Gifford is considered by many to be among the greatest living American storytellers, one of those who can reveal, in his stories and novels, something we didn’t know that is happening in American hearts. His most recent prose works are Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, Sad Stories of the Death of Kings, Imagining Paradise: New and Selected Poems, The Roy Stories, and Landscape With Traveler. Gifford lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.