Anthologies

Imagine Such A Life

This anthology features profound and compelling essays writen by thirty-five senior citizens living in four of Boston's most vibrant and enduring neighborhoods: Allston-Brighton, Roslindale, the South End, and West Roxbury.

Several of these memories vividly evoke life in Boston at key moments in history: World War II, when a boy watched his older brothers depart for the war; the Great Migration, when a young girl and her family left the south for better opportunities up north; the polio epidemic that touched a young mother in one case and a daughter in another, and changed both families forever; and the early years of the Peace Corps, when two young volunteers, inspired by President John F. Kennedy, set out for Iran and the Dominican Republic. Writers share stories of eccentric parents, adventuresome friends, inspiring mentors, true loves, and unconventional careers made possible by the social changes of the fifties and sixties.  

Little Gray Island

This anthology features compelling first-hand accounts of childhoods and vacations on the island of Nantucket, written by twenty-four senior residents. These true stories vividly bring to life the individual and collective experiences of native islanders and “washashores” alike and document island living, historic homesteads, and lineages of sea captains. You will witness the dramas of a whaling ship run aground, a tight sailboat race, and flying in a small plane through dense fog. You can almost taste the lacy seaweed pudding, fresh-caught bluefish, beach plums, and elderberry wine. You’ll want nothing more than to visit (or return) and explore anew its sandy paths, bogs, and forests. The extraordinary details, wisdom, and wit found in these essays evoke the magic to be found there. Little Gray Island is an eloquent documentation of these authors’ unique history and brings to life a Nantucket that may have been forgotten without them. Read the foreword by Nathaniel Philbrick and the introduction here.

Sometimes They Sang With Us

This anthology features surprising and thoughtful essays written by more than thirty seniors from three of Boston's most enduring and diverse neighborhoods: Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, and Mission Hill. Written over the course of a year and revised with the guidance of instructors from GrubStreet, these true stories bring to life the individual and collective experiences of a generation. In the original Spanish and in translation, you will read about the forging of immigrant enclaves in a changing Boston landscape; you'll learn about the "rotten fights" between squads of boys thirty strong; you'll even meet Albert Einstein, with whom one of these writers had a chance encounter in 1933.

My Legacy Is Simply This

This anthology features compelling and one-of-a-kind stories written by more than fifty seniors from four of Boston’s most vibrant and enduring neighborhoods: Charlestown, Chinatown, East Boston, and Mattapan.Written over the course of a year and revised with a host of instructors from GrubStreet, these true stories vividly bring to life the individual and collective experiences of a generation. You will witness the drama of arranged marriages, the ups and downs of a first job at the Schrafft's candy factory, the ingenious ways of making and saving money during the Depression, and other memorable and surprising events.

My Legacy Is Simply This is an eloquent documentation of these authors' unique histories, and brings to life a Boston that many have been forgotten without them.

Born Before Plastic

This one-of-a-kind anthology features compelling true stories written by forty seniors from three of Boston’s most vibrant and enduring neighborhoods: the North End, South Boston, and Roxbury.

You will be transported to cricket matches in Franklin Park, a romantic encounter at the South Boston Yacht Club, noon fireworks at the “Gassie,” and other memorable and surprising events.

As former mayor Menino wrote in the foreword: senior citizens are "the foundation on which Boston was built."

Streets of Echoes

These narratives recollect times of change, crisis, and reinvention — of the writers, of Boston, and of the nation. Some stories take place close to home, describing childhood raids on a neighbor's apple trees, teenage boys hanging out on a Dorchester street corner, and the romance of rooming house life. Other remembrances teach us that events that took place far away — on the balcony at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, on the Pettus Bridge in Selma, or at the 1963 March on Washington — also reverberate through our streets. One writer shares memories of her annual family trip to the Jim Crow South; another recalls a tense road trip home in the days following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination; and another describes the brutal exhaustion of working for an Alabama sharecropper. Stories of life abroad resound through our city too, with the memories of writers who emigrated from China, Cuba, Dominica, and Germany, as well as the accounts of travelers. Read about a boy's experiences in an Austrian school in 1937, a beloved servant's frightening scars of war, and a young woman's adventures in the Red Cross.