December 6, 2008

The Street Gypsies, Uptown Novel by Glendell Latham

The Street Gypsies by Glendell Latham is set in Uptown Chicago in the 1970s and is based on the life of the author. Many familiar Uptown instituions, like the Aragon Ballroom, The Green Mill, and even Gigio's Pizza, are mentioned within its pages.

Here's a summary from the back cover:

The Street Gypsies is about the urban underclass of street characters who lived in Chicago’s Uptown Community during the 1970’s. They were a society of free spirits. They were sometimes unsavory but, almost always, colorful characters who were street hustlers surviving on the streets by wit and whim; invariably, getting caught-up in the addictive nature of the lifestyle. The culture was probably a manifestation of the times. During those years, there was rampant unemployment and inflation in America.

It was also a time of social unrest and rebellion that spawned a number of radical groups. There was an anti-establishment climate that was fueled by the drop-out drug culture that carried over with its hippie influences from the 1960’s. Add to that, the elements of the sexual revolution, the civil rights and women’s movements. It was the glory days of Rock and R&B. All of this was the foundation for the mind-set that prevailed within this Street Gypsy culture. Survival was made an art form by these resourceful and spirited characters.

Listen to Glendell Latham discuss his book:



In this next short video, Glendell Latham takes us on a tour of Uptown Chicago. People interviewed include Gigio's Pizza owner Maria Rizzo, who shares memories of the neighborbood, and Jimmy, a current resident of the Malden Arms, where Latham once lived:





About the Author: Glen Latham is a proud graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois. Glen, who works in the real estate industry, lived in the Uptown Community for 8 years between 1975 and 1983. His book titled The Street Gypsies tells of his harrowing adventures and exploits of a life and culture that very few have survived.

3 comments:

clatham2 said...

this book is great. it has comedy, drama, romance and a sense of the history of uptown.

Anonymous said...

Book Lovers. If you really want to know how good this book reallly is,
ask Maria at:
Gigio's Pizza (773) 282-1242
She has read the book

Anonymous said...

Hello, everyone. I have read the book and it is a gem---well-written, funny and gritty---very vivid. One of the best books I have ever read!

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