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John W. Fountain grew up on some of the meanest streets in Chicago, where drugs, crime, decay, and broken homes consigned so many black children to a life of despair and self-destruction. A father at seventeen, a college dropout at nineteen, a welfare case soon after, Fountain was on the verge of giving up all hope. One thing saved himhis faith, his own true vine.
True Vine is John Fountain's remarkable storyof his childhood in a neighborhood heading south; of his strong-willed grandparents, who founded a church (called True Vine) that sought to bring the word of God to their neighbors; of his mother, herself a teenage parent, whose truncated dreams help nurture bigger dreams in him; of his friends and cousins, whose youthful exuberance was extinguished by the burdens they faced; and of his religious awakening that gave him the determination to rebuild his life.
Today John Fountain is an award-winning reporter for The New York Times, based in his hometown. His return to Chicago marks how his story has come full circle, this time in triumph. True Vine is an inspiring, moving, gripping story of one man's American dreama dream that all of us can share.
John W. Fountain is a national correspondent for The New York Times, based in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, he was previously a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post before joining the Times in 2000. He lives in Olympia Fields, Illinois.