At the Corner of California and Memory Lane

The twentieth-anniversary edition of Sixteen Candles. Prince and Madonna are both on tour.

Former Jordache girls, beware: Your childhood is officially nostalgia territory.

No need to drown your sorrows in Fresca or Wacky Packs. There are more respectful ways to delve into your My Little Pony past. Crossing California, Adam Langer’s wry ode to late-twentieth-century Chicago, is set in the Jewish communities around West Rogers Park. It follows the intertwined lives of three families on opposite sides of California Avenue, along with a string of admirers, rivals, and one mysterious Soviet sexpot. Their struggles with class, religion, and love are played out Windy City-style (read: smart, witty, and with a taste for Wolfy’s hot dogs), against the backdrop of the Iranian hostage crisis, the 1980 presidential election, and John Lennon’s death.

So enjoy this amusing period piece. Before you know it, promising young novelists will be writing nostalgic accounts of life in the new millennium.

And your iPod might even be a relic.

Available at your local bookstore or online at amazon.com.