Short stories from west side neighborhoods of Chicago. "The force of each writer's vision and language carries you into the living rooms and kitchens where the real folk of the West Side go about the business of living. 'West Side Stories' presents the everyday, the brutal, the glorious."
Signed by contributors Diane Williams and Sandi Wisenberg.
"The stories presented here tell tales of a new Chicago, a Chicago that, like the Scott Mutter montage that fronts this book, is made up of diverse images that suggest new ways of seeing. They provide alternative interpretations of life in the city. What you will find in this collection is a a multi-cultural neighborhood in print, a neighborhood which has yet to surface on Chicago streets, one which is perhaps still years away in a city that touts its culturally plural make-up while still enforcing rigid boundaries between segregated neighborhoods. Murder by industrial pollution (often masked by self-abuse), racism, homophobia, the disintegration of family life, the struggle for control of one's own body and mind, the troubles facing a growing elderly population, the subjugation of minority cultures to the rich, the white, the male, are all issues confronted by the writers of these stories. They speak through a range of voices, creating a new, urgent sense of Chicago Realism. These storytellers provide testimony to a new Chicago, a Chicago that while steeped in American tradition challenges the narrow boundaries of its stereotype. They speak to a changing America, an America that has awakened from decades of a false, prosperity-driven revelry with a reality hangover. They speak of an America that must now begin to turn its attention to the social and environmental problems it has too long ignored." - From the back cover
Features on the fate of the Carson Pirie Scott building and the chaos surrounding its sale, the CTA's condecension and apathy toward delays on the Red Line caused by the Brown Line, an interview with Preacher Samuel Chambers in the Loop, an interview with Andy Ortmann of Panicsville and Nihilist Records, Reversible Eye gallery in Humboldt Park run by Elena Brocade and Ryan Shuquem, contrasting and comparing the 90's teenage punk scene in Lakeview with the present, a Rogers Park local gives a tour.<br />