Farrell's first novel since Bernard Ciare (1946), this has some of the standard Farrell features- and some differences; the same socio-journalistic approach, the hard realism, the Chicago Irish-Catholic background, sex, and as a central character- Bernard Carr- a young man fighting his environment, though more successful in eliminating his influences than other Farrell figures. The period too is different; Farrell has left the '20's, progressed to the dark depression days of the '30's. Bernard and Elizabeth have eloped, left Chicago, and live in one small room in Greenwich Village. Bernard, a struggling author, is trying to write a great novel; Elizabeth, naive, even childlike, loves Bernard but doesn't understand his conflicts, his loneliness, nor does he understand her desire for the material comforts which to him are the symbols of the background he hates. At the end, their sympathy is closer, though the baby they expected is dead; Bernard's novel is well on its way, and they go to Europe together. Washington Square and Union Square in the depression, replete with Communists, here portrayed as irrational fanatics,- for the artist cannot subject himself to the group and must go through an individualistic struggle such as Bernard's. For the Farrell audience.