The King of Chicago: Memories of My Father


Product Details

Carrel Books
Publish Date
5.7 X 0.9 X 8.3 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Dan Friedman was born in Chicago, graduated from Oxford University, and taught writing at the University of Virginia. He founded Albemarle magazine, was founding editor of La Belle France, and is author of a travel memoir, My Mother's Side. His writing has been praised by the New York Times, Gourmet, and Money. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


"A heartbreaking, haunting read, mining to connect a sons timeless desire to belong and understand the irrevocable generational consequence of rejection. A story told by a relative I never knew existed. Welcome to the clan." -Mandy Patinkin
"They raised us, but who were they . . . really? Dan Friedman's magnificent search for his roots made me ask, achingly: 'Where do I begin?' Read it and start searching!" -Andy Shaw, Chicago Sun-Times journalist and president of Illinois's Better Government Association

"More than a son's paean to his father, The King of Chicago is an intergenerational portrait of the quintessential American Jewish family, a rags-to-riches story that confronts the issues of assimilation and identity with courage and humor." --Ethan Michaeli, author of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, from the Age of the Pullman Porters to the Age of Obama.

"We all have fathers, but not all of them are perfect. Friedman's father was brought up in an orphanage, and in the book, Friedman sorts through his strengths and weaknesses as he evaluates how his father affected his own life. His moving story is a love letter to an imperfect father." --Tony Vanderwarker, author of Writing with the Master: How One of the World's Bestselling Authors Fixed My Book and Changed My Life

Friedman personalizes the American Jewish immigrant experience. With Marks Nathan as a fulcrum point, he traces the story of his family from a shtetl in 1903 Pale of Settlement to Chicago, through a total name change of the family forebear, to the breakup and re-uniting of family around the orphanage and on to tony suburbia in Glencoe. Then the road leads east to Charlottesville, Va., where Jews were a curiosity and anti-Semitism was Southern genteel, and finally coming back home to Chicago. --George Castle, Chicago Jewish News

"Mr. Friedman's memoir is a touching story of a son's unqualified love for his father."--Jewish Child & Family Services, Chicago