Born: Chicago, Illinois
Connection to Illinois: Drain grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, and currently resides in the Kenwood neighborhood. Biography: Jasmon Drain's debut takes a fictional yet close look at the lives of various residents in the Stateway Gardens projects before and while they were being razed to enable the gentrification of Chicago's South side.
- ''Stateway's Garden'',
- -- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS CHOICE, NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE
|Stateway's Garden: Stories
ISBN: 1984818163 OCLC: 1098230616 Random House 2020 Before they were torn down in 2007, the Stateway Gardens public housing projects on Chicago's South Side were known as a hot-bed of poverty, drugs, gangs, and crime. But for some, like Tracy, the shy, intelligent young boy at the center of this enthralling collection of linked stories, they are simply home. Set in the mid-1980s and taking readers up to the point of the destruction of the infamous Cabrini Green housing projects -- similar to the Stateway Gardens projects to the South of them -- this collection gives an intimate look at the hopes, dreams, failures and fortunes of a group of people growing up with the deck always stacked against them. Through Jasmon Drain's sensitive and often playful prose, we see another side of what we have come to know as the projects. Stateway's Garden is a coming-of-age story told in short stories, through the lens of a childhood made rough by the crush of poverty and violence, with the crack epidemic a looming specter ahead. And yet, through the experiences and ambitions of Tracy and other young characters, Drain reveals a vibrant community that creates its own ecosystem, all set in a series of massive, seemingly soulless concrete buildings. Not shying away from the darkness of life for his characters, Drain shows the full complexity of their human experiences.--