A satisfying love letter to a charming city that has many faces and identities.


One of America's most infamous river cities comes roaring to life in this haunting, enigmatic, and musical literary anthology.

A small town with big-city ambitions, a Catholic stronghold, home to one of the biggest breweries in the world, and a flyover town that was once one of the largest cities in the United States, St. Louis is a study in contrasts and contains an essence that is difficult to capture. In the latest in the publisher’s city anthologies series (previous volumes have covered Detroit, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, among others), St. Louis–raised, Chicago-based journalist Schuessler presents a mix of prose and poetry. The book assumes the herculean task of bringing to life a city that is integral to American history while also proving unfindable on a map by most Americans. “St. Louis is undoubtedly fragmented, physically so in that the city is dissected by rivers, highways, walls, and fences; but also in a more insidious way,” writes the editor in the introduction. “It’s a city (like many) where race, class, religion, and zip code might as well be cards in a rigged poker game, where the winners’ prize is the ability to ignore that the losers have drastically shorter life expectancies. But it’s also a city of warmth, love, and beauty—especially in its contrasts.” Divided into three sections—Histories, Memories, and Realities—the anthology gives readers a dazzling portrait of a Midwestern city whose relationships among socio-economics, religion, civil rights, and class are consistently complex. In Nick Sacco's short essay, the writer discusses the complicated history of the city’s Italian immigrants, capturing that neighborhood's inexorable charm and racial and religious xenophobia. Jason Vasser-Elong's biting poetry brings to life the Delmar Loop, a vibrant area with a complicated racial history that inspired artists like Chuck Berry, while Alice Azure's poetry in “Downtown St. Louis” highlights that area's commercial vitality while also addressing the homeless population that is largely ignored.

A satisfying love letter to a charming city that has many faces and identities.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948742-44-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Belt Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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