James Thomas Farrell (1904—1979) was born in Chicago to a struggling family of second-generation Irish Catholic immi grants. In 1907, his father, James Farrell, a teamster unable to support his growing family, placed young Jim with his maternal grandparents. It was his grandparents’ neighborhood in Chicago’s South Fifties that would provide the background to Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy. Farrell worked his way through the University of Chicago, shedding his Catholic upbringing and absorbing the works of William James, John Dewey, Sigmund Freud, while reading widely in American and European literature: Herman Melville, Sherwood Anderson, H. L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, and James Joyce were critical influences on his literary development. “Slob” (1929), his first published story, was also his first render ing of the real life “Studs Lonigan,” a young man he had known growing up in Chicago. Farrell’s first novel, Young Lonigan was published in 1932, followed by The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (1934) and Judgment Day (1935)—the three volumes making up his celebrated Studs Lonigan trilogy. A prolific writer, Farrell left more than fifty books of stories and novels behind him when he died in 1979. Alongside his masterpiece Studs Lonigan, Farrell’s best-known works include the Danny O’Neill novels, A World I Never Made, No Star is Lost, Father and Son, and My Days of Anger. James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy is also available in Penguin Classics.
Ann Douglas teaches English at Columbia University. Her books include Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s and The Feminization of American Culture.
This is living history as it occurred and one of the great books of all time. As a person
who has taught and still studies history this is filled with delight and meaning
Spoiler alert.....and now he's gone. The book, really three books, takes Studs from graduation from elementary school to his death at age 29. Read morePublished 8 months ago by James R. Breed
This is the classic American novel of a young man coming of age in Chicago almost a century ago. It was condemned because its specific sexual episodes, but it is really a... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Elizabeth Bennet
I first read this book as a 13 year old 2nd generation Irish American from a lower working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY in the early 1980s and have read it every few years... Read morePublished 16 months ago by William P. Barry
Over the past several years, as part of re-evaluating the effect of my half-Irish diaspora heritage (on my mother's side) on the development of my leftist political consciousness I... Read morePublished on March 12, 2010 by Alfred Johnson
This book is sublime. The blurb on the cover said that the trilogy has a cumulative effect, so I waited until I had a stretch of free time to read all 874 pages and can confirm... Read morePublished on December 18, 2007 by An admirer of Saul
(i'm 13 and Irish)Studs Lonigan is a great book which potrays Chicago back in the days when all the tough neighbourhoods were White and te blacks were beginning 2 invade. Read morePublished on March 11, 2005
I spent about a month and a half slogging my way through James T. Farrell's magnum opus, and the most pressing question I was left with after finishing was this: What in the world... Read morePublished on June 10, 2004 by brewster22
If you are looking for a plot driven story, then this may not satisfy. However, if you do not approach the story with the same kind of expectations you might bring to a work of... Read morePublished on April 10, 2004 by Megan Lambert