As the real world continues to creep closer than nostalgic comfort, one might engage in the tendency to hide. We can pretend that the lines drawn on our geographies will keep us safe and sane, but our hearts have always been more porous than walls and fences. We can hide, or we can engage and shake the truths out of the confusion. Art helps.
Max Shulman (1919–1988) grew up in a Jewish community in Saint Paul’s Selby-Dale neighborhood. After graduating from Central High School, he earned a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. His writings were invariably humorous and were published in novels and magazines. He eventually became a successful writer for theater and television. His novel Potatoes are Cheaper was a portrayal of life in the city in the late 1930s. Extract from Max Shulman, Potatoes Are Cheaper (Doubleday and Company, 1971): 1–4, 23.