Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five top books on life in Chicago

Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski, the author of the new collection of stories Painted Cities, tagged five books that show real life in Chicago, including:
Lords of Lawndale: My Life in a Chicago White Street Gang
by Michael Scott

A sometimes moving, more often relentless, account of what it means to be a gangbanger, day in and day out—not a life you’d wish on anybody. Street gang or not this author’s depiction of losing a young friend is something we can all relate to. Here again a lot of effort is made to describe a specific neighborhood, and within that, very specific gang turf boundaries, and they’re so pinpoint you can find them on Google Maps. Written about a time before drugs sales shaped gang boundaries, this book highlights two of the more illusory aspects of gang life, respect and family, making us wonder if they exist at all. The hard truth is it doesn’t really matter. Once you’re in a gang, that becomes your identity.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue