“Eyeth—get it? In the Deaf storytelling tradition, utopia is called Eyeth because it’s a society that centers the eye, not the ear, like here on Earth.” That’s the opener to “Ear vs. Eye: Deaf Mythology,” one of the many brief lessons sprinkled between the chapters of Sara Nović’s realistic fiction novel True Biz, released March […]
Before Pilsen welcomed gallery spaces and Little Village became La Villita, the city’s Mexican population fought to make their voices heard and for places to live. Georgetown University historian Mike Amezcua chronicles this decades-long struggle in his compelling Making Mexican Chicago: From Postwar Settlement to the Age of Gentrification, published in February by University of […]
Balancing Acts: Unleashing the Power of Creativity in Your Life and Work (HarperCollins Leadership, January 2022, $28.99) by Daniel Lamarre is a book for those who need creative inspiration. Part business memoir and part self-help/motivational, the appeal of this book will land squarely on the aspiring businessman who needs an icon. It not only celebrates […]
One of my favorite passages in Chicago journalist Michael J. O’Loughlin’s new book, Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear, opens like an old-school joke. A nun named Sister Carol Baltosiewich is sitting in a New York City gay bar and eyeing the men around her, when […]
To write about John Prine, whose death from COVID-19 related complications in April 2020 devastated fans around the world, is an inherently intimate act. Prine’s music has always felt like a treasured good, sacred and familial. I felt that as a kid, hearing stories from my dad, who lived near Chicago in the 1970s and […]
Sam Pink makes it look easy and it isn’t. Over some dozen books of poetry, stories, and prose, he’s refined a spare but precise style that reads like truth. He gives alley dwellers, dishwashers, and city wanderers the dignity and gravitas that other writers normally reserve for the upper echelon. Pink continues to write about […]
Is satire allowed anymore? We’re living through a period which largely demands literality from art. We want to know where the author stands. Unambiguously, with no shade or contradiction. Satire, on the other hand, lives in the gray and attempts to get at larger truths. Christian TeBordo’s new novel is set unreservedly outside the bipolarity […]
To cover Chicago theater is to carry a ghost map in one’s head of all the lost spaces. Some buildings are gone (or nearly gone) altogether, like the original Goodman Theatre at the Art Institute, or the Jane Addams Hull House Center on Broadway at Belmont, which at various points housed Steppenwolf, Bailiwick Repertory, Famous […]
The first time I read Jessica Hopper’s work, I was awestruck. Her essays in the online publication Rookie felt so emotionally honest in contrast to my own close-to-the-chest media consumption. I hadn’t heard the entire Smiths discography at that point (should I have?) or the Sex Pistols but in the interest of seeming cool, effete, […]
New books from Chicago authors and publishers
The author takes a deep dive into the culture of the lifestyle and his personal connection to it.
Felicia Rose Chavez’s book challenges how educational institutions support people of color—and provides a blueprint to be better.
Even though its titular character always does just the opposite
In her book Faux Pas, the painter makes a rarified field approachable with humor and profundity.
Evoking memory and mystery, two artists collaborate on an art piece.