The Coast of Chicago Stories

Stuart Dybek




Trade Paperback

192 Pages



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The stolid landscape of Chicago suddenly turns dreamlike and otherworldly in Stuart Dybek's classic story collection. A lowly right fielder's inexplicable death turns him into a martyr to baseball. Strains of Chopin floating down the tenement airshaft are transformed into a mysterious anthem of loss. An El train at rush hour becomes a crucible of memory and desire. Combining homely detailed and heartbreakingly familiar voices with grand leaps of imagination, The Coast of Chicago is a masterpiece from one of America's most highly regarded writers.


Praise for The Coast of Chicago

"Has claim to comparison with Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and Joyce's Dubliners . . . Dybek's energetic prose produces dazzling effects."—Chicago Sun-Times

"Moving and real and often brilliantly ambitious."—Los Angeles Times

"A fictional world that is both ordinary and amazing."—The New York Times

"Irresistible . . . Mr. Dreiser, Mr. Farrell, Mr. Bellow, Mr. Algren, please say hello to Stuart Dybek. He's one of yours."—The Village Voice

"Establishes [Dybek] not merely as a talent but as a magician comparable to Eudora Welty and Joy Williams."—Chicago Tribune

"Tender and unforgiving . . . No matter where you grew up, after reading these stories you'll have found the coast of Chicago"—San Francisco Chronicle

"The stories in Coast of Chicago . . . are fluently rendered scenes and dreams of a youth spent in the projects of Chicago . . . Dybek's use of language [is] imaginative and precise . . . a collection greater than the sum of its parts."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Now and then a collection of stories achieves the virtues of both organic form and conciseness . . . Dybek's book in fact stretches the definition of short-story collection, reaching a kind of wholeness that gives it the feel of a novel."—The Seattle Times

"His vision is every inch his own."—USA Today

"Dybek uses a luminous writing style to conjure up life in the Windy City . . . His stories have a universal quality, imaginatively touching on the joys and mysteries of childhood, the inevitability of change, and the salubrious properties of love and friendship."—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"These wonderful tales have a beautiful, stark, and haunted quality, gritty and surreal at the same time."—Peter Matthiessen

"Stuart Dybek translates extreme and fantastic events into a fabulous dailyness, as though the extraordinary were everywhere around us if only someone would tell us where to look. He lets us see the unforeseen not by stratagem but by art. Dybek is a wonderful writer of wonderful stories."—Geoffrey Wolff

"A narrative that is intelligent, lyrical, and as insightful as a revelation . . . The Coast of Chicago is an inventive, daring book that pleases the ear, challenges the mind, and transforms a bit of everyone's past from the mundane to the magical."—Orlando Sentinel

"Dybek makes gritty poetry of his subjects."—Newsday

Reviews from Goodreads



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Stuart Dybek is the award-winning author of Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, I Sailed with Magellan, and Brass Knuckles, a volume of poetry. A professor of English at Western Michigan University, he lives in Kalamazoo.
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  • Stuart Dybek

  • Stuart Dybek is the award-winning author of I Sailed with Magellan, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, and Brass Knuckles, a volume of poetry. A professor of English at Western Michigan University, he lives in Kalamazoo.
  • Stuart Dybek © Jon Randolph