Chicago’s annual literary festival runs October 1 through 30, with readings and book signings by local and national writers, poets, and scholars as well as discussions, lectures, workshops, tours, and children’s activities at bookstores, public libraries, and other venues. Some events feature the city’s “One Book, One Chicago” selection, Tim O’Brien’s National Book Award-winning novel The Things They Carried. Admission is free unless otherwise noted. For more information call 312-747-4300, see, or contact the hosting venues.

Following is the schedule through October 2; a complete schedule is available online at


Ilene Cooper

The author presents Jack: The Early Years of John F. Kennedy. 9 AM: Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State. Appropriate for grades 8-12 and adults. 312-747-4780.

Al Franken

See Critic’s Choice. 12:30 PM: Borders Books & Music, 150 N. State. 312-606-0750.

Charles Baxter

The novelist reads from Saul and Patsy. 7 PM: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. 773-684-1300.

“Off the Cuffs”

Readings by contributors to Off the Cuffs: Poetry by and About the Police. 7:30 PM: Guild Complex at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. 773-227-6117.


Edward Hirsch

The poet reads from Lay Back the Darkness. Noon: Art Institute, Fullerton Hall. Michigan and Adams. Free with museum admission; $10, $6 for students and seniors. 312-443-3680.

Maxine Hong Kingston

The author of The Woman Warrior presents The Fifth Book of Peace. 6 PM: Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State. 312-747-4080.

Thomas Frank and Dave Mulcahey

The Baffler editors talk about Boob Jubilee: The Mad Cultural Politics of the New Economy. 7 PM: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. 773-684-1300.

Molly Ivins

The syndicated columnist signs Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America. 7:30 PM: Swedish American Museum Center, 5211 N. Clark. 773-769-9299.