I Sailed with Magellan: Stories

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct 1, 2004 - Fiction - 320 pages
2 Reviews

Major new fiction from an acclaimed master

From the prizewinning writer Stuart Dybek comes a superb new work: a novel-in-stories, eleven masterful tales told by a single voice with remarkable narrative power. In I Sailed With Magellan, Dybek finds characters of irrepressible vitality amidst the stark urban landscapes of Chicago's south side; there, the daily experiences of the neighborhood are transformed in the lush imaginative adventures of his hero, the restless Perry Katzek.

There is remarkable music in each of Dybek's intertwined episodes, the rhythm of street life 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, often funny chapters unfold, Perry grapples toward the exotic possibilities the world offers him, glimpsing them even beneath the at times brutal surface of the inner-city.

Throughout I Sailed With Magellan, fans of Dybek will find the captivating storytelling, the sharp, spare prose, the brilliant dramatization of resilient, inventive humanity that they have come to expect from him.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JosephKing6602 - LibraryThing

Nice to read stories set in Chicago; well developed characters and a nice intermingling of stories across the entire collection of short pieces! Thoroughly enjoyed it! Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yougotamber - LibraryThing

I couldn't get into this book. I tried twice and then took a trip to the bookstore to buy a different book to read. It shall sit on my shelf and possibly get read one rainy afternoon when I am dead bored and there is nothing else to do. Read full review

Selected pages


Title Page
Live from Dreamsville
Lunch at the Loyola Arms
We Didnt
Qué Quieres
A Minor Mood
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About the author (2004)

Stuart Dybek is the author of two collections of short fiction, The Coast of Chicago and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, as well as a volume of poetry, Brass Knuckles. A professor of English at Western Michigan University, he lives in Kalamazoo.

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