Pictures of Home is based on photographs that were stored on a shelf in the bedroom closet where Douglas Bukowski grew up. The pictures are a source and a measure. They show a family on the South Side of Chicago, where the children of immigrants fought to keep out the descendants of slaves. They show a boy from Hardscrabble who forever lived in the shadow of Richard J. Daley. The one was born within a mile of the other; each received the baptismal name of Joseph; they both drew a city paycheck as firefighter or mayor; and they died on the same date in December. The pictures tell about a husband and wife, their children, and the inevitability of change. While the house they lived in remained much the same from 1939 to 2000, the surrounding neighborhood did not. The streets changed, the children grew up, and the man died a slow death to which two daughters and a son bore witness even as they sought to fight it. The mother stays in the house still, comforted by pictures of a life that slips from her memory a little more each day. The pictures and the history behind them are brought to life in stunning fashion in Mr. Bukowski's spare prose. Pictures of Home is the story of a family and a city, told affectionately and endearingly by one who is part of both.
About Douglas Bukowski
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Published June 14, 2004
by Ivan R. Dee.
Biographies & Memoirs, History.