Following the release of his first novel, A Life Without Consequences, (MacAdam/Cage Fall 2001), Stephen Elliott returns with his second book, What It Means to Love You, the story of Anthony, Brooke, and Lance, three Chicago sex workers whose lives are interlinked as they travel the underworld that is Halstead Street.
Anthony, at thirty-four, finds himself stripping on the bottom rung of the ladder. He sees clearly that his days on the stage are numbered. But it is not easy for Anthony to leave the life. Before Anthony can stop stripping, he has to learn how to stop stripping.
Brooke and Lance came to Halstead Street in Chicago from Grand Falls, Michigan. Lance, handsome and strong, is in his mid-twenties and is starting to lose his mind. Brooke is seventeen and she has been turning tricks since she was fifteen. Her goal, one day, is to go back home to her father after her mother goes away.
What It Means to Love You extends far beyond these main characters. This is a novel about Chicago and all the boys and girls from all over the Midwest who run away to Halstead Street and the fate that awaits them there.
Stephen Elliott grew up a ward of the court in various institutions and group homes in Chicago. He earned his Bachelors degree at the University of Illinois and a Masters degree from Northwestern University. He has worked as a stripper, a cabdriver, a bartender, and a law school admissions consultant.
Stephen Elliott is the Truman Capote Fellow in the Wallace
Stegner Creative Writing Program at Stanford University. More of Stephen’s writing can be found at www.stephenelliott.com.