Short story collection, Kinda Sorta American Dream, by Chicago author Steve Karas, gives a glimpse into people’s every day lives and struggles.
Meet Steve Karas
Steve Karas grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and still lives in the area, with his wife and two children. He attended St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, and attended their Pythagoras Greek School. Steve Karas is his nom de plume — pen name; writing is a passion but something he does part-time. He works as a counselor in a local school, and prefers to keep these two worlds separate. He said he chose “Steve Karas” because it’s easy to say, and still identifies him as a Greek American.
“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first “novel” (unpublished) was written when I was sixteen years old. It was a coming-of-age story loosely based (okay, maybe not so loosely) on a Greek Hospitality Tour sponsored by the Greek government that I was lucky enough to go on with my brother and two close friends. I began focusing exclusively on short fiction about five or six years ago, during which time the stories in Kinda Sorta American Dream were written.”
Inspiration for Kinda Sorta American Dream
He draws inspiration from being a second generation immigrant, growing up and witnessing firsthand the pursuit of the American Dream.
“To me, the American Dream has always meant that, with hard work, everyone has the opportunity to succeed in this country, and that each generation should have a better life than the previous generation. I think that was the case with my family and the families of lots of people I know. So I was interested in exploring, amid the current landscape, if the American Dream still exists, what it means. When there’s an economic downturn and joblessness, what happens to a younger generation that maybe isn’t accustomed to working tirelessly to have a comfortable life? Can today’s immigrants avoid having to climb the ladder from the bottom up and instead jump straight to the top rung, particularly in this digital age? How has social media changed our perception of how good our lives are – whether or not we’re living the dream?”
Other Published Work
He most enjoys literary fiction, so that’s what he writes. Steve’s stories have appeared in the short-fiction anthologies Friend.Follow.Text.#storiesFromLivingOnline (Enfield & Wizenty, 2013) and Bully (KY Story, 2015), as well as several online and print publications such as Necessary Fiction, Hobart, jmww, WhiskeyPaper, and Little Fiction.
Steve Karas is currently working on a new novel, as well as a chapbook coming out with WhiskeyPaper Press in 2016, tentatively titled, Mesogeios. Greece and Greek protagonists are highlighted in the chapbook’s four pieces. He also has a story about a Greek air guitarist that will be included in A Mixtape of Words anthology (Little Fiction/Big Truths), which will be out soon.
Review of Kinda Sorta American Dream
In Kinda Sorta American Dream, Steve Karas gives us a glimpse into the lives of people — the struggles, the heartache, the angst. These are regular, everyday people, who are searching for a better life. They’re seeking something that they cannot grasp, just trying to survive the weight of life.
There’s no flowery language here. Steve Karas tells it straight, like you’re talking with a friend. This is life. Some struggle to survive, and can’t catch a break. Every day is a battle to function, to stay alive.
There are no happy endings, no conclusions — just a glimpse — and a reminder of just how blessed we are.
Steve Karas is a fresh voice on the literary scene, and his perspective is unique. His stories are compelling, and spark reflection. Watch for more to come from this author.
Chicago Book Release Party
By: Steve Karas
Publisher: Tailwinds Press Enterprises LLC
Release date: December 10, 2015