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The Story of Chicago May

O'Faolain, Nuala

359 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1573223204 / ISBN 13: 9781573223201
Published by Riverhead Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Fine copy, dj has very minor shelf wear rubbing on the corner tips - signed by the author on the blank page following front endpiece. O'Faolain brings a sympathetic scutinity to this extraordinary life. May was born in post-feminist Ireland and died in a world of telephones, sport cars, and movies, in 1929 just before the stock market crash. An outlaw and an independent woman. With b/w illustrations, photos. x/307pp. Desirable!. Bookseller Inventory # 003238

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Story of Chicago May

Publisher: Riverhead Books, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


A unique, ruminative biography-a fascinating excursion into the American underworld at the dawn of the twentieth century, the life of an unrespectable Irish woman, and the hidden inner life of any woman who has tried to choose the unconventional path-by the author of the New York Times bestsellers Are You Somebody? and My Dream of You.

Nuala O'Faolain, the author of three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, has come upon a story that is not only a perfect match for her literary gifts but also takes her career in a surprising and rich new direction. This Irish woman writer who achieved international fame with a remarkably candid appraisal of her own unorthodox life has taken as her subject another daughter of Ireland-this one a notorious criminal and unrepentant, independent woman.

The legend says that May was a tall girl with glorious hair and big blue eyes, compellingly attractive to men. At nineteen, she stole her family's savings and ran away from her home in rural Ireland to America-first Nebraska, then Chicago at the time of the World's Fair, and then on to New York. In these new American cities, she worked as a grifter, a confidence trickster, a prostitute, a sometime showgirl-earned her moniker and was hailed in tabloids as "Queen of the Underworld." And then she fell in love with a big-league criminal, followed him to Paris where they successfully robbed the American Express, then were apprehended, tried, and sent to prison. May survived prison, returned to America, and was reborn again and again-falling in love, lapsing back into the criminal life, flirting with legitimacy, writing her memoirs.

O'Faolain brings a sympathetic scrutiny to this extraordinary life story, reaching across the decades for points of connection and understanding. May was born in post-famine Ireland and died in the world of telephones, sportscars, and movies, in 1929, just before the stock-market crash. Is there a woman's experience they can share? An Irishwoman's experience? An outsider's? In the hands of one of our most astute and gifted memoirists, The Story of Chicago May is not only a tale well-told, but an inquiry into the telling of any life story. "There are pioneer journeys still to be made to the edge of the territory where we know how to be sympathetic," O'Faolain writes. "Shine the beam of attention out there and the dark recoils, and the frontier of human settlement moves forward."

About the Author:

Nuala O'Faolain is the author of three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, the memoirs Are You Somebody? and Almost There, and the novel My Dream of You.

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I do not have a brick and mortar storefront, listing from home utilizing HomeBase - Nearly all of the books listed are only available single copy, some are new/as new - most are fine or very good - Many unusual/ Collectible/Signed - First Editions/1st printing when possible. I have been a lover and collector of books since early childhood, participating in Metaphysical and Art Bookstore during the 1970's in San Francisco, Ca., Hence, many of the Spiritual, Art and Fantasy/Science Fiction - unusual books are from my private library collection. Art, Beauty, Film, Higher Knowledge - and books that inspire - these continue to come my way and I would love to make them available to others.

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