H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Studs Lonigan, looking
tough, sat on the fireplug before the drugstore on the northeast corner
of Fifty-eighth and Prairie.
from Studs Lonigan: A Trilogy
James Thomas Farrell
immortalized the gritty lives of first-and second-generation working-class
Irish-Americans, drawing heavily on his own experience as one of 15 children
in a family on Chicagos
South Side. His youth is mirrored in some of his best-known characters,
Studs Lonigan and Danny ONeil, whom he described with naturalistic
prose and contemporary urban slang.
Farrell attended the
University of Chicago, where he published his first collection of short
stories and essays. In 1929, he began writing Young Lonigan, the
first part of the Studs Lonigan trilogy, while living
at 2023 East 72nd Street. He sold it to a publisher in Paris, where he and
his wife traveled for a year.
Farrell moved to New
York in 1932, plunging into the literary and political life of the city.
He completed the Lonigan trilogy, publishing the next two volumes Young
Manhood of Studs Lonigan in 1934 and
Judgement Day in 1935. A coming-of-age epic about a young Chicago
street tough that was considered a raunchy and radical indictment of American
society, it is Farrells most famous and respected work.
A political and social
activist, by the end of his life Farrell had published 42 volumes of fiction
and numerous collections of short stories. They include Gas-House McGinty,
Tommy Gallaghers Crusade
and The Death of Nora Ryan.