Oct 31 2017
Department of Development
Every day after five I drove him to a neon-signed bar called Flanagan’s, where he recovered from work with vodka martinis and told me about his life. “My grandfather invented
Mar 01 1988
Drifting Into a Career
Nelson Algren, author of The Neon Wilderness, A Walk on the Wild Side and the National Book Award-winning Man with the Golden Arm, made himself a voice for the urban dispossessed. Algren graduated from the University of Illinois in 1931, the most stagnant year since the crash. That year, he escaped the mounting financial troubles of his parents — a Chicago mechanic and his domineering wife — to pursue respectability as a journalist. The following selection from A Life on the Wild Side, a forthcoming biography of Algren, describes how his search for work led to poverty, desperation, and finally jail, experiences which enriched his last-resort but inevitable career as a writer and determined forever his resolute stance against the status quo.