A New York Times Notable Book
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A Chicago Tribune Best Book
An American Library Association Notable Book
Winner of the Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Award
From the prizewinning American author Stuart Dybek comes a major new work of fiction: a novel-in-stories, eleven masterful tales told by a single voice of remarkable narrative power. I Sailed with Magellan depicts various characters of irrepressible vitality amid the stark neighborhoods of Chicago's South Side, where our hero, the restless Perry Katzek, transforms his daily experiences into lush, imaginative adventures.
In each of Dybek's intertwined episodes there is remarkable music. The book's dialogue and descriptive prose both reveal the rhythm of a street culture captured in all its emotional depth and unexpected humor: a man takes his young nephew to a string of taverns, where the boy sings for his uncle's bourbon; a small-time thug is distracted from making a hit by the mysterious reappearance of several ex-girlfriends; two unemployed youths hatch a scheme to finance their road trip to Mexico by selling orchids stolen from the rich side of town; a young couple's amorous beach adventure is interrupted when an unexpected visitor washes ashore. As these poignant chapters unfold with sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic results, Perry Katzek grapples with the exotic possibilities that the world offers him, finding them even beneath the often brutal surface of Chicago life.
Throughout I Sailed with Magellan we rediscover the captivating storytelling, the sharp and spare prose, and the brilliant dramatization of resilient, inventive humanity that mark Dybek's work.