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A remarkably assured and accomplished debut novel that encompasses the bursting life of contemporary Chicago, Looped tells the separate stories of a diverse group of Chicagoans—black, brown, and white, gay, straight, and bi—as their lives unfold in diverging and (occasionally) converging ways over the course of the year 2000. Among the characters are the family of a middle-class black postman whose runaway daughter has just learned she’s pregnant; a gifted half-Vietnamese high-schooler whose troubled father spies on the son he abandoned years earlier; a tradition-bound Greek diner owner whose upwardly mobile daughter, embarrassed by her ethnic roots, is snarled in a loveless marriage; a gay chef whose shaky relationship is strained by the visit of his closeted lover’s uncle, a Catholic priest; and the motley members of an up-and-coming band shaken by the breakup of its ambitious lead guitarist and his sexually confused songwriter girlfriend. Ambitious, sprawling, engrossing, multifaceted, insightful, and readable, Looped explodes with a life and vitality that mirrors the multicultural reality of 21st-century Chicago, where the families that sustain us are more likely to be those we’ve created than those we’re born to.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 07, 2005 – College dropout Ellen Kovacs wanders through the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park, using an 8mm camera to follow a single face. It's a fine metaphor for this clear-sighted debut novel, which evokes all the variety of the massive city of Chicago by focusing on the workings of one neighborhood. The face Ellen follows belongs to Alice O'Leary, a struggling musician with a job in a flower shop. At the shop, Alice meets Nathan and his lover, Robin, who are trying to keep up a relationship despite heavy baggage on both sides. Across the street from the flower shop is a diner frequented by Ng Pran-Markowitz, a teenage artist and loner. The diner, in turn, is owned by Elias Kanakes, who is losing his connection to his family and worries that his restaurant's day has passed. His mail is delivered by Alphonse Duchossois, an African-American who befriends Florence Finkel, an elderly Jewish widow who sees visions of her late husband. Winston spins his wheel of characters round and round over the course of a single year, capturing the way relationships bloom and break apart and raising unspoken questions: What constitutes community? What do people really have in common? Winston gives Chicago the complex treatment it deserves, both as a dynamic city and a collection of individuals. He demonstrates that people who share space also share responsibility for one another. As Ellen says to Alice, "Some day... you have to promise something to someone."
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Mar 01, 2009
  • Publisher: Agate Publishing
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 409 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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