is Margo Christie's ABNA Prize-Winning Debut Novel.
Click HERE to buy the book Publisher's Weekly calls...
"As original as it is addictive... a truly compelling read that is worthy of high praise."
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featuring "The Top Hat Bar and Grill"
Excerpted from THESE DAYS, "The Top-Hat Bar and Grill" details a star-struck teen's first glimpse into the glamorous world of old burlesque.
featuring "Once Upon a Time in a Bar on the Block."
A short story by Margo Christie, "Once Upon a Time in a Bar on the Block" is an intimate glimpse at the tarnished in-between times on Baltimore's Block
Fueled by a passion for 1940s movies and her jazz musician father's tales of a time when “every hole-in-the wall bar had a band,” 14-year old Becky Shelling dreams of a career in show biz. It's 1974, hardly a high point in jazz history when trumpeter Ernie Shelling disappears, abandoning his adoring daughter to an abusive step-mother, an indifferent step-sister and a step-brother-in-law who lusts after Becky behind his wife's back. For solace, Becky befriends Carolyn Kibble, upstairs neighbor and barmaid at the Ernie's former haunt, the Half-Mile Bar. But it is the attention of smooth-talking businessman Lenny Moss that she really craves. Taking Becky to work for him on Baltimore's World-Famous Block, Lenny inadvertently leads her down a path of self-discovery on a once-stylish, now-decrepit adult entertainment strip where everyone has a tale about “the good old days,” but nothing is quite as it seems.
As Becky struggles to reconcile her life as Lenny’s mistress/star performer with the realization that her father wasn't the man she'd believed him to be, These Days juxtaposes past and present, myth and reality in ways that shine a light on the pitfalls of nostalgia and challenge the tenacity with which we cling to the past.