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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
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