A rare voice in American writing

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Last Sunday’s Washington Post contains a rather interesting review of Martin Preib’s new book, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City. As the Post‘s Jonathan Yardley notes, in the The Wagon Preib has drawn on his blue-collar working class experiences in the city of Chicago—from bouncer, to union reformer, to doorman, to his current job as a Chicago police officer—to produce a unique collection of gritty, insightful, authentic, and captivating tales. As the Post‘s Jonathan Yardley writes:

Preib’s is a voice that has almost never been heard in American writing: not merely the voice of an ordinary policeman, which is rare enough, but the voice of someone whose working life has been spent in the service industry, “the place for muddled worldviews, unclear ambitions, blunted desires, and other people who just never got it, or thought they had it but didn’t: the divorced, alcoholics, the new age philosophers, dopers, the indolent, the criminal.” That’s a stern view of the life in which Preib spent two decades—longer, if one considers the police force as part of the “service industry”—but it is tempered by a deep sympathy for the ways in which these invisible, or at best semi-visible, people are exploited and tossed aside by the system for which they labor. Preib is no sentimentalist—far from it—but he believes that “the distracted life of the service worker [is] the most authentic in the city.”

Read the full review at the Washington Post website.
Also read a story: “Body Bags” and listen to a podcast.