"Storyteller" combines Alvarez's intimate knowledge and fascination with the people and places of Baltimore, his own sense of personal history and his ability to make fact and fiction alike resonate with a poetic sense of the human condition. As Scott Shane states in the book's introduction, "All literature, like all politics, is local... ..And it is from a long immersion in the newspaper facts of Baltimore and environs that Rafael Alvarez has begun to create his own rich ficitonal locale, the holy land of East Baltimore." Fiction and journalism blend in "Storyteller:" The three short stories in the "Something Made" section weave imaginary characters with the fine detail of real places. The ten chapters of "Newspaper Work," all originally published as articles in The Sun, weave real Baltimore profiles and scenes with Alvarez's mastery as a storyteller. The stories cover a couple with an informal ministry in the basement of their rowhouse floral shop, famous writers and musicians with Baltimore roots and "working-class heroes" - including a glassblower, a nightclub bouncer and a meat grinder. In addition to examining these and other examples of "Characterus Baltimorenis," Alvarez reveals his own rich heritage and shares his musings about life's journey as he travels cross-country with his teen-age son in summer 2000. "Storyteller" is not just for the Baltimore-familiar. Alvarez's ability to weave a tale and bring a story to colorful life is appreciated by all audiences of all ages.
Used availability for Rafael Alvarez's Storyteller
May 2001 : USA Paperback