A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
A recent Forbes magazine analysis proclaimed Chicago the 6th most miserable place in the country, based on living conditions, traffic, weather, etc. I actually like the place, though there is tremendous opportunity for improvement, but I can see the ranking as a cumulation of many historical factors, all of which can be found in Chicago Stories: Tales of the City edited by John Miller and Genevieve Anderson.
What has gone wrong in Chicago:
In the hands of great writers, all of these miserable affairs become compelling novels, short stories, essays, memoirs, and histories.
For the reader, Chicago Stories is like a sampler box of chocolates. You may like chocolate covered cherries and lemon creams but not chocolate turtles. While I enjoyed reading the short story “Looking for Mr. Green” by Saul Bellow, a selection from The Untouchables by Eliot Ness, and a selection from Boss by Mike Royko, I was rather disappointed by a selection from Hull House by Jane Addams and a profile from Division Street: America by Studs Terkel. Like with chocolates, each reading was a mystery before the tasting. More often than not, the experience was pleasurable, and I know much more about Chicago’s writers.
Review by Rick