Rob Sadowsky As head of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation since July 2004, Sadowsky has led community-building and outreach programs, such as the annual “Bike the Drive” ride. Lee Ravenscroft A longtime humanitarian who worked in Central America in the late 80s and 90s with the National Engineering University, Ravenscroft founded the Working Bikes cooperative in […]
A whole other way of life
Chicago by bike
Believe the hype: Marisha Pessl’s debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Viking), is a lot of fun. Teenage narrator Blue van Meer, overfond of the literary reference and parenthetical remark, is Pessl’s preternaturally studious protagonist. She’s the daughter of Gareth van Meer, himself a model of the philosophically idiosyncratic, sexually prodigious, often drunk professor […]
With his new history, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity (AK Press), Dan Berger, a 25-year-old PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and coeditor of last year’s Letters From Young Activists, attempts to fill in the blanks left by Sam Green and Bill Siegel’s 2003 documentary The Weather Underground. […]
What qualifies as “underground” fiction? The editors of a new anthology series are figuring it out as they go along.
THE NYMPHOS OF ROCKY FLATS | Mario Acevedo | Rayo | Former infantryman Mario Acevedo manages to seamlessly blend several genres in his smooth, wryly funny debut novel. Nymphos starts off as a war thriller: enlisted grunt Felix Gomez is just trying to survive in Iraq when he mistakenly shoots a civilian girl who bleeds […]
Studs is still going strong. The beloved nonagenarian mined his long-running WFMT radio show, The Wax Museum (1945-’90), for material for his latest volume, And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey (The New Press), and though it doesn’t have the cultural weight of Working or his other, sturdier oral histories, it effectively […]
THE AMPHORA PROJECT | William Kotzwinkle | Grove Press | In a 1988 essay literary agent Russell Galen had some advice for writers gunning for the big time: “Don’t worry about ‘breaking out of genre.’” Just “make it big, big, very big.” Maybe someone should send a copy to William Kotzwinkle: the man knows how […]
The 2004 election is more controversial than ever.
Christopher Sorrentino takes liberties with the Patty Hearst story to get at the truth of why the revolution died.
With The Rapture Exposed out in paperback this week, Barbara Rossing is about to enter round two in her battle with the Left Behind people.
When Toronto-based writer and performer Darren O’Donnell hit Quimby’s in October, he delivered a monologue from his ever-evolving one-man show A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, a theater piece that dramatizes one of his pet concerns: the breakdown of the boundary between audience and performer. He wasn’t on a stage in the tiny bookstore, and […]
BEWARE OF GOD: STORIES | Shalom Auslander | Simon & Schuster “Do what [God] says and nobody gets hurt,” the rabbi told Bloom. Unfortunately what God decreed was that Bloom must die. He’d tried to kill Bloom before, but air bags and defibrillators kept getting in the way. Now in “Somebody Up There Likes You,” […]
What the –?