A story about love and death in Chicago during the age of prohibition, this novel was originally published in 1928 and out of print for nearly 50 years. Set in a boarding house on the north side of Chicago, the novel follows Marry Javlyn, a newspaperman who has just arrived from Iowa; Jo Ruska, a switchboard operator; and Abe Wise, a gangster on the lam. Marry and Jo fall in love, but when Marry is lured away by a glamorous newspaper culture critic, he descends into a Gomorrah of speakeasies, patronage jobs, and dingy art studios. Despite family secrets revealed, betrayed loyalties, and a violent climax, Marry still has a chance in the end for redemption. With an original, rollicking plot and memorable characters, the story stands as an authentic and invaluable artifact of an era long distorted beyond recognition by sensationalism and stereotype.
About the Author
MacKinlay Kantor was a war correspondent in London during World War II. He captured the experience of servicemen returning home from the war in his novel Glory for Me, which he later adapted into the film The Best Years of Our Lives. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956 for his novel Andersonville.