Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


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Archive of Nelson Algren

December 14

Entrapment had made the day’s events, and my own life, seem like legitimate literary subjects. The characters in its pages were called Frank Mears, and Blackie Cavanaugh, and Little Lester, but when I read about them I felt I was reading about old friends. They were the kids I had played with in the abandoned lot behind my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a child; men I knocked around with on street corners, gyms, and bars; my old friend Bones, an alcoholic who looked after me when I became a bicycle messenger at seventeen, and then hung himself from a pipe running along the ceiling of his basement apartment.

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