Finalist, Society of Midland Authors Prize
These moving yet unsentimental stories recount scenes in the coming of age of Petey Bellapani, from age eight to adolescence, growing up in the Italian Catholic ethnic neighborhood of Bridgeport in Chicago. The scenes form powerful images of urban youth: A fire burns Petey’s home above a bakery. A neighborhood softball game takes an unexpected turn. And first love blooms next door and at the laundromat. The Logic of a Rose won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Gladys Swan.
Every male writer writing about growing up in Chicago, from John McNally to Adam Langer, does so in the shadow of Stuart Dybek, the celebrated author of I Sailed with Magellan (2003). Happily, first-time author Lombardo manages to be inspired by Dybek while refining his own voice in this sweetly soulful coming-of-age short story collection. Preternaturally observant, young Petey lives in an Italian enclave in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood in the early 1970s. This is a working-class world, and Lombardo lovingly describes everything from how to mop a floor to how to fill a cannoli, but he is also aware of nature's power, the source of his stories' vivid metaphors and exaltation. As Petey's family struggles to survive and he heads into adolescence and learns how to navigate his home turf, Lombardo gets everything right, from a sensitive boy's struggle to say and do the right thing in delicate situations to Chicago's impossible weather, as he celebrates the marvels of boyhood and everyday life. Donna Seaman
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The Logic of a Rose...shows that the Chicago literary tradition continues to grow in fruitful new directions. -- Chicago Tribune, July 3, 2005
Lombardo lived here and turned his Bridgeport [neighborhood] into the stuff of lyrical, lovely art. -- Chicago Sun-Times, July 24, 2005
Excellent reading for those who value meditative, beautiful storytelling. —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review) Ramspeck's debut collection abounds with flawed families, tense confirmations, and unlikely mo...
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