The fourth novel in James T. Farrell\u2019s pentalogy chronicles Danny O\u2019Neill\u2019s coming of age. Recording his reactions to initiation into college life at the University of Chicago and the imminent death of his grandmother, one of his primary caretakers, Danny realizes the value of time and gains confidence in his writing abilities. As he works on his first novel, he prepares to leave his family, his Catholicism, and his neighborhood in Chicago behind for a new life as a writer in New York.
James T. Farrell (1904-79) was a native of Chicago, famous for the range and depth of his realistic portraits of the city's various populations that he drew from his own experiences and keen powers of observation. Charles Fanning is a professor of English and history at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and the editor of Farrell's Chicago Stories.