Faculty Book: Benjamin H. Shepard

Benjamin H. Shepard
Illuminations on Market Street
(Ibidem Press, 2019)

image of book: illuminations on market stareetSan Francisco in the early 1990s. Cab is on the deep end of a losing streak. After having been dumped yet again, he moves to Haight-Ashbury fresh out of college. It is the middle of a recession, before the dot-com boom, and AIDS is an immediate and untreatable reality. He finds himself working in a housing program for people with HIV/AIDS. The entire city is reeling. His clients are dying. Cab records their every word. He starts drafting a narrative of every person with whom he’s slept: those who dropped him, those he adored, and those he let go of without a second thought, to reassess what he has left behind from the South of his childhood of dyslexia and infatuations, football and ecstasy, divorce and sex panics. In between girlfriends, acting up, attempts at romance, and trying to find his place in the greater San Francisco narrative, Cab is looking for something, tracing the interconnecting stories of the people he’s meeting, sleeping, and drinking with, as everyone tries to find a space in the city. As treatments emerge and the economy
changes, a new story takes shape in Cab’s life and the city.


Shepard graduated from The Graduate Center in 2006 with a Ph.D. in social welfare. He is currently a professor at The Graduate Center and City Tech.

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Submitted on: JUN 19, 2019

Category: Alumni News | Faculty Books | Urban Education