Author Kyle Smith Reads from His New Novel 85A

Sep ’10
7:00 pm


Kyle Smith will read from his Chicago-set coming-of-age novel out this summer from Bascom Hill Publishing Group. Set in late 1980s Chicago, 85A follows its half Johnny Rotten, half Holden Caulfield antihero, Seamus O’Grady, through a watershed day in his adolescent life. As a gay teen from a conservative Catholic home—in one of the most racist neighborhoods of a notoriously segregated city—Seamus begins to seek his niche in 1980s Chicago’s multicultural punk and bohemian circles.

Originally from Chicago, Smith infuses 85A with the rich detail of his own experiences with the Chicago punk scene as his protagonist struggles with universal themes of identity, rebellion and belonging. Today, Smith lives in Brooklyn, New York and regularly contributes to Edge, The Brooklyn Rail, and WhiteHot Magazine.

“Like Holden [Caulfield], Seamus serves as an important reminder of the universal urge to self-define in a world hostile to anyone who dares to be different.” – Edge on the Net

“[Seamus’] treatment at the hands of his family and his teachers is heart-wrenching.” – Booklist

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