In this touching yet wickedly funny memoir, Marcia Cebulska gives you a peek behind the curtain to see what life was like in the family bakery that adjoined her childhood home. You will meet the warm, rowdy, lovable, and sometimes criminal characters of her life: a grandfather who stages fake Polish weddings; a parakeet that rides on the head of the pet dog; a cousin who collects nun dolls. But also: a father taken away in handcuffs; a mother in love with a priest; an uncle in the mob.
Being a playwright and novelist, Cebulska is a superb storyteller who, in short, captivating vignettes, portrays her memories as individual, evocative, beautifully told worlds in themselves. Woven together, these stories tell a larger tale, one of desire and struggle, passion and defeat, dancing and joy. Reading Lovers, Dreamers, & Thieves is a stimulating and enriching walk in another time, another life.
Marcia Cebulska grew up in Chicago and has spent most of her career writing for the stage and screen. Her critically acclaimed plays have been produced at thousands of venues worldwide and her screenwriting aired on PBS. She has received the Jane Chambers International Award, the Dorothy Silver Award, and several Master Artist Fellowships. Her play Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision, was directed by Academy-Award winner Kevin Willmott. Marcia’s guided journal Skywriting was released in 2019. Her first novel, Watching Men Dance was released in 2020. Her memoir, Lovers, Dreamer, & Thieves was published in 2023. Marcia lives in Topeka, Kansas with her husband, historian Tom Prasch.
“Marcia Cebulska’s account of life in Chicago’s Polish community is both moving and important. Polish Americans in Chicago are often referenced but have not often told their own story. Lovers, Dreamers, and Thieves captures both the joys and the sorrow of the immigrant/ethnic experience in the Windy City. It is a must read for anyone interested in Chicago and its diverse people.” – Dominic A. Pacyga, Author of American Warsaw: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Polish Chicago.