Category: literary history

Take a look, it's in a book, but not with 'Reading Rainbow'

Reading Rainbow, ladies and gents, has closed up shop. The popular kid’s book show comes to the end of its 26-year story today after achieving status of the longest-running children’s show in PBS history after only Mister Rogers and Sesame Street.

The questionable future of the book jacket

The future of book jackets is being discussed on NY Observer today, with special attention paid to such jacket-less books as No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne, and The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott, a Chicago native, all due out in September. It’s a small thing, the book jacket, but... Read more »

This Week In Literary History: Remembering Hemingway

In the middle of the celebratory feel of this week, as we head into Independence Day Weekend, I would be remiss if we did not take a moment to remember this week (yesterday, in fact) as the anniversary of the death of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was born this month in 1899 in our very own... Read more »

Author Ownership Conversation (and Book Giveaways) on BookArmy

An interesting conversation about (mostly posthumous) author ownership is happening this month over on BookArmy and I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the matter, too: Some of the greatest works of literature ever written would never have seen the light of day had it been left up to their authors. If Kafka had his... Read more »

Depression-Era Books & The New Literary Tough Guy

Admittedly, I have a major fascination with both history, particularly the Great Depression, and zeitgeist phenomena, especially as it relates to  consumer behavior surrounding books and films. Couple that with my general enthusiasm for and devotion to literature, and one can only imagine my excitement when I flipped on the radio to hear an NPR... Read more »

The Future of Publishing, Reading (and Discussing)

This weekend, merrily geeking out on my latest issue of Wired magazine, I stumbled across an essay by Clive Thompson which was, interestingly enough, of the same topic of a panel on which I recently spoke at Printers Row Lit Fest. It’s a topic that abounds lately, the future of the book, the reader and... Read more »

Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest: An Overview

In my previous post, I mentioned a literacy program and easy service opportunity at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend. Yet, I thought it might be prudent to back up a moment and give an overview of the festival itself. Originally founded in 1985 by the Near South Planning Board to breathe... Read more »

Video: Songs Inspired by Literature

Granted, the video is on the long-ish side, but it’s fun and offers interesting insight to some popular songs I’d not, I’ll admit, previously realized were inspired by literature. The Cure song inspired by Camus’ The Stranger, The Smiths drawing inspiration from Tennyson and Dylan’s praise of Shelley I knew, though mainly as a result... Read more »

Chicago In Novels: Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi is Mark Twain’s two-part memoir of his adventures as a steamboat pilot along the Mississippi River as a young man, published simultaneously in the US and UK in 1883 (James R. Osgood & Co, Boston and Chatto & Windus, London, respectively). Though Twain wrote often of his many experiences on and... Read more »

Aleksander Hemon's Chicago

Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece about Aleksandar Hemon, a writer who, while visiting a friend in the Ukranian Village in 1992, extended his stay in Chicago indefinitely after war erupted in his native Sarajevo. Hemon learned to write in English and decided to stay in Chicago (I say that as if... Read more »