Growing up on Chicago's Southside in the 1950s and '60s, Perry is the oldest son of a working-class Polish family. His frugal father, Sir, works in a factory and collects car parts off the street to sell in his spare time. Perry's younger brother, Mick, is a constant nuisance, and their mother, Moms, somehow manages to hold the house together. Perry's adventures take him from adolescence to young adulthood: dodging high-speed traffic with his father; stealing orchids from the Northside in order to finance a trip to Mexico; and singing in neighborhood bars at the behest of his Uncle Lefty, a washed-up ex-musician and veteran of the Korean War. A dreamer, Perry inherits his restless qualities from Lefty, whose death marks the end of Perry's childhood. A wide-ranging coming-of-age story, I SAILED WITH MAGELLAN celebrates the colorful, hardscrabble life that inspires a boy to embark on his own voyage of discovery.
"…Allen's script is remarkably sure-handed and often riotously funny, providing an elegy for a working-class, pre-Starbucks cityscape." —Chicago Reader. "…easily suggests how the raw material for a lifetime of writing is indelibly etched in the experiences of youth and adolescence." —Chicago Sun-Times. "…a community of vividly-drawn kinsmen…from the melange of affectionate and embittered memories, a number of linear narratives surface to etch themselves indelibly into our consciousness." —Windy City Times.