Posted inArts & Culture

Ten best bets for fall lit

Chicago Book Expo Credit: Sedona Barney

The Hunting Accident by
David L. Carlson and Landis Blair

The Hunting Accident is the story of how Charlie Rizzo uncovered the story of his father Matt’s friendship with his Stateville Prison cellmate Nathan Leopold, of Leopold and Loeb infamy. Carlson wrote that story down, and Blair illustrated it, and now it’s a handsome doorstop of a graphic novel that Mary Schmich will help introduce to the world.

Tue 9/19, 7 PM, Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway, 773-883-9119, F

Chicago Book Expo

For six years now, the Chicago Book Expo has been one of the best chances Chicago writers and readers have to meet and mingle and swap books and autographs. Details about this year’s exhibitors and readers are still forthcoming, but the lineup always contains a good mix of readings, talks, and practical writing advice.

Sat 10/1, noon-5 PM, Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash, F

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Egan hasn’t published a novel since 2010, but that was the Pulitzer-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad, so obviously there was a bit of pressure to produce a worthy follow-up. Manhattan Beach is out in October—it’s set in World War II-era Brooklyn and tells the story of a teenager who becomes the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s only female diver. Wed 10/11, 7 PM, Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, 773-769-9299, F

We Were Eight Years in Power:
An American Tragedy
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates borrowed the title of his new book We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy from the lament of black politicians in the South after the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow. In this collection of essays, which includes “The Case for Reparations,” Coates explores the pretty obvious modern-day parallels, but also the social movements that emerged during the Obama era.

Tue 10/17, 7 PM, Francis Parker School, 2233 N. Clark and Wed 10/18, 7 PM, Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, F

The Cavalcade of Authors

Some literary festivals give you a chance to shake hands with your favorite writer. At the Cavalcade of Authors, you’ll get to tour the city together, go out to dinner, have a dance party, and play cards in your pajamas. This year’s visitors include bestsellers Brenda Jackson, Mary Monroe, and Naleighna Kai.

Fri 10/13-Sun 10/15. Aloft Hotel and various locations, 888-854-8823,, $25-350.

Lit & Luz Festival

Half a dozen writers and artists will be arriving from Mexico City on October 17 for Make magazine’s annual Lit & Luz Festival. While they’re here, they’ll participate in readings, conversations, and performances in both English and Spanish and work with some of their Chicago counterparts, including Jac Jemc, Nate Marshall, and Coya Paz, to create a multimedia live-magazine show that will close the festivities.

Tue 10/17-Sat 10/21, various times, various places, 773-552-7440,, Sat $15-$100.

University of Chicago
Humanities Day

Not to be confused with the Chicago Humanities Festival, the University of Chicago Humanities Day is a chance for U. of C. profs to lecture on their favorite subjects to members of the general public. Topics include the art of forgery, curses against horses and charioteers in ancient Rome, and Trump and Putin’s battles with the media. There will also be lunchtime tours of campus museums and the Reynolds Club Bell Tower.

Sat 10/21, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM, University of Chicago campus, 773-702-7423, F

The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo

Acevedo’s new novel is based on the true story of the Spanish princess Eulalia, who travels to the New World in the 1890s, first to revolutionary Cuba, and then to the 1893 World’s Fair. Acevedo’s own visit to Chicago will probably be less eventful, but you never know.

Mon 10/23, 6:30 PM, City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie, 773-235-2523, F

Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis by Liesl Olson

Olson is the director of the Newberry Library’s Chicago Studies program and also the author of Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis, which tells the story of how famous and not-so-famous Chicagoans helped revolutionize literature in the first half of the 20th century. So naturally she’s giving a talk about it at the Newberry.

Thu 10/26, 6 PM, Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, 312-943-9090, F

No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

In honor of Brooks’s centennial, the Poetry Foundation has collaborated with the paper-cutout-puppetry geniuses of Manual Cinema to create No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, making its world premiere on the Foundation’s annual Poetry Day.

Fri 11/17-Sun 11/19, various times, Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State, 312-787-7070, F  v

Updated: 09-18-2017 04:26 pm

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