A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm recounts the life of Francis Majcinek, "Frankie Machine," who returned from World War II with a Purple Heart and a morphine habit. He relies on morphine to numb the pain of a war injury and the guilt he feels for a drunken spree that put his wife Sophie in a wheelchair. Frankie, a card-dealer in an illicit poker game, has now come back to Chicago's West Side after detoxing in the federal prison for narcotics addicts, being exposed again to all the pressures, anxieties, and temptations that put him there in the first place.
"...but it's "paul-I-nah"!"
With its depictions of the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers, and hustlers of Perdido Street in the old French Quarter of 1930s New Orleans, A Walk in the Wild Side has found a place in the imaginations of all generations since it first appeared.
Bruno Bicek, "Lefty," is a prizefighter and small-time hood in Chicago. Boxing is his ticket to escape hard times and gang life, but when Bruno doesn't prevent the brutal gang rape of his girlfriend, Steffi, it tears them apart, their worlds changed forever.
Nelson Algren brings a deeply personal tone to his reading about Sophie, the doomed wife of card dealer and drug addict Frankie Machine, wanted for murder, as she waits futilely for him to return home.
Nelson Algren reading from The Man With the Golden Arm, James Jones reading from The Thin Red Line, John Updike reading “Lifeguard” from Pigeon Feathers and Other, Bernard Malamud reading from “The Mourners” from The Magic Barrre.
This thrilling production of one of Algren’s best-known stories traces the gritty lives of Polish youths in the Chicago slums of the 1940s. A full-cast performance featuring Kurt Brocker, Richard Cotovsky, Sharon Gopfert, Andrew Hawkes, Jonathan Lavan, Loren Lazerine, Robert Maffia, Guy Massey, G. Riley Mills, Turk Muller, Lara Phillips, and Andy Roski.
O. Henry and National Book Award-winning author Nelson Algren has inspired thousands with his tough, gritty accounts of urban life. Written over the course of four decades, this collection of 12 stories centers around Depression-era Texas. Characterized by small-town strife, political corruption and frontier-style justice, each tale is a testament to the struggles of the working poor. Also among the stories is a retelling of the myth of Bonnie and Clyde.