This memoir is about Clancy Sigal's boyhood in Depression-era Chicago, then James Farrell and Nelson Algren territory. The author recounts his intense relationship with his mother Jennie, a sometime firebrand union organizer, and his roaring Oedipal rivalry with his mostly absent father Leo. Jennie is a single mother on welfare trying to raise a wild rebellious son in a twilight world between law and lawlessness. She is defiant, vulnerable, sexually alive, high stepping, man-loving, woman-friendly, wisecracking, fearlessly facing down hostile strikebreakers armed with shotguns and clubs. Along with the portrait of Jennie, this book tells a rollicking, profane and gritty tale of life on the streets, of stickball, riding the rails, delinquency, gangs--and what happens when a gang boy is mistakenly sent to an all-girls' high school.--From publisher description.