Pulsing with reality, harsh, beautiful, and uncompromising, Christ in Concrete takes place on the Lower East Side of New York City shortly before the Great Depression. Largely autobiographical, Christ in Concrete opens with the dramatic Good Friday collapse of a building under construction, which buries in its rubble the bricklayers working on the upper floors and literally crucifies in concrete Geremio, whose death leaves his pregnant wife and eight children impoverished. His bright, studious oldest son, Paul, at just twelve years of age, must take over his father's role - and job. Paul's odyssey into manhood begins on the high girders, where death is an occupational hazard and a boy's dreams are the first fatality. Vibrant with the rich ethnicity of the city, sonorous with a prose that recalls the speakers' Italian origins, and impassioned in its outrage at prejudice and exploitation, Pietro di Donato's Christ in Concrete is a powerful social document and a rare, deeply moving human story about the American immigrant experience.