What forges the unique human personality? In Island in the
City Micah McCrary, taking his genetic inheritance as
immutable, considers the role geography has played in shaping who
he is. Place often leaves indelible marks: the badges of
self-discovery; the scars from adversity and hardship; the gilded
stamps from personal triumphs; the tattoos of memory; and the new
appendages—friendships, experiences, and baggage—we carry with us.
Each place, with its own personality, has the power to form or
revise our personhood in surprising and fascinating ways. McCrary
considers three places he has called home (Normal, Illinois;
Chicago; and Prague) and reflects on how these surroundings have
shaped him. His sharp-eyed, charming memoir-in-essays
contemplates how aspects of his identity, such as being black,
male, middle-class, queer, and American, have developed and been
influenced by where he hangs his hat.