Chicago, Thursday, March 3, 2011. Mayor Richard M. Daley and officials from the Chicago Public Library have named Neil Gaiman’s novel, “Neverwhere” as this year’s One Book, One Chicago selection.
Gaiman, born in England in 1960, has turned out an amazing number of works–primarily in the arenas of fantasy, comics, graphic novels, supernatural fiction and humor.
“Neverwhere”, an interesting choice for One Book, One Chicago, is a whimsical tale about a man called Richard, doors, rats, myths, and what really happens underneath London. The assorted cast of characters are fictional and fantastical. The inhabitants of the “London Below” that Gaiman explores are mostly invisible to those in “London Above.” The story draws an interesting parallel to “Chicago Below” and “Chicago Above.” (a tour of Chicago’s pedway in conjunction with “Neverwhere” is listed below). “Neverwhere” was also a television series which first aired in 1996 on the BBC. “Neverwhere” was produced as a play in 2010 at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre where it received critical acclaim.
Upcoming Special Events Related to Neverwhere.
Neil Gaiman and author Audrey Niffenegger will participate in “A Conversation on Stage” at the
Harold Washington Library Center’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. Free event, April 12, 6p.m. 400 S. State St.
Gaiman will give a solo talk and reading from “Neverwhere” at the Rockerfeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. Free event, April 13, 7p.m. 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.
A discussion of modern fairy tales between authors Lydia Millet (How the Dead Dream) and Kate Bernheimer (editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, to which Gaiman was a contributor) will take place at the Harold Washington Library on April 7.
A full reading of Lifeline Theatre’s stage adaptation of “Neverwhere”will be performed on April 11.
Physicist Lawrence Krauss will host an exploration of the possibility of “Parallel Universes” (such as London Above and London Below) on April 20 at the Harold Washington Library Center.
A Neverwhere-focused tour of Chicago’s Pedway with guide Margaret Hicks, date/dates, TBA.
Courses and Contests.
DePaul University is offering a variety of One Book, One Chicago related events, including a discussion of the rise of the graphic novel and a Neverwhere-themed art contest.
DePaul University’s English Department is offering a ten-week course, “Literature and Social
Engagement – Chicago’s One Book: Issues and Perspectives,” a course dedicated to the close study of the current One Book selection taught by Rebecca Johns Trissler.
Special Programs for Young Adults.
Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia will connect young adults with “Neverwhere”, related books, technologies and cultural events through a series in interactive workshops.
For more information about One Book, One Chicago, please visit the website or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.
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