Painted Cities by Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski

painted-cities

When the L’s rumble by, he continues playing, convinced somehow that his music is affecting the travelers: making a pickpocket reconsider as he slips his trigger hand toward a sleeping passenger’s pocket.

Painted Cities by Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski is a collection of short stories set on the south side of Chicago. They primarily center around adolescents who still lead fairly normal, imaginative lives before the crime, violence, gangs and drugs that surround them starts to color how they see and interact with the world.

One review said it was ‘authentic’ and I thought that was the perfect word to describe the stories. Until I hit one story about a boy who could bring back the dead (an out-of-place magical realism story that made its way into the book) I had no idea whether these stories were fiction or memoir – probably both. Although none made me stop and say ‘Wow!’, I really enjoyed this collection of stories.

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