With its twelve sharply observed stories filled with memorable characters and dialogue imbued with the pop music of the day, Gregg Shapiro reflects on what it meant to grow up gay in Chicago during the 1970s and 1980s. Relationships —family, boyfriends, and otherwise—are explored in stories such as “Lunch with a Porn Star,” “Marilyn, My Mother, Myself,” and “Your Father’s Car.” Only a gay Chicago native with a keen eye could give us such an insider’s view of the Windy City from a more innocent time not too long ago.
“The men of Lincoln Avenue are in search of something, but don’t worry, they’ll find it before morning. In these unflinching and deeply located stories, Gregg Shapiro inhabits the cars, bars, and avenues of the gay metropolis that came of age in 1980s Chicago. This is fiction that embodies and pays homage to a world as fleeting as youth but as indelible as the city streets themselves.” — Barrie Jean Borich, author of Body Geographic
“Gregg Shapiro creates whole worlds with these stories, in which characters navigate everything from first lust to familial dramas, in narratives told with humor, understanding, and a keen sense of place. Stories such as ‘Lincoln Avenue’ pose the meaningful, unanswerable question: Why do we love the people we love? This is a memorable and entertaining collection.” — Kelly Dwyer, author of Self-Portrait with Ghosts and The Tracks of Angels
“I love these great Chicago stories, so fresh and sharp, so excitable and hard-edged and tenderhearted. These stories remind once again why I’ve been a fan of Shapiro’s work for years.” — Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows
“A nostalgic ride through the streets of Chicago that starts in a 1975 Hornet and ends in a 1980 Cutlass wagon, the stories in Lincoln Avenue are like a stack of faded Polaroids from our collective gay past—each capturing the hopeful novelty and awkward uncertainty of youth in a single frame.” — Wayne Hoffman, author of Sweet Like Sugar and Hard
“These lovely stories from the streets of Chicago are filled with entertaining twists, turns and sudden stops, and include a title story that’s a sexy little masterpiece.” — Jerry Rosco, author of Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography and editor of Glenway Wescott’s A Heaven of Words: Last Journals, 1956-1984
“I’m delighted to discover that talented Gregg Shapiro has a collection of fiction out. These richly textured short stories portray the lives of gay men in the Midwest with wit, lyricism, and tenderness.” — Jeff Mann, author of Cub and Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War