These stories, chosen from ten separately published collections of James T. Farrell's short fiction, offer remarkable insights into the lives of
Irish Americans and other Chicagoans from 1910 to 1940. They are gems of the short fiction genre, unique, pioneering, and accomplished.
Farrell's stories offer a wonderful diversity of characters and experiences, from self-deluded, impoverished victims to portraits of the artist as a young Irish-American living on Chicago's South Side. Charles Fanning's introduction presents Farrell as one of the best Illinois writers of the first half of the century and his stories as among the best in realistic short fiction anywhere.
"I read [Farrell] in my freshman year at Harvard, and it changed my life... Now, I realized you could write books about people who were something like the people you had grown up with. I couldn't get over the discovery." -- Norman Mailer