What is a world-class city without its cultural pantheon? The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is an excellent idea just a few weeks from reality. The charter members, who will be inducted in a ceremony November 20 at Northeastern Illinois University, are inarguable: Saul Bellow, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Studs Terkel, and Richard Wright. The location of the hall, the Cliff Dwellers Club on South Michigan Avenue, couldn’t be more appropriate—though it’s odd to think of these six spirits pent up anywhere. I hope schoolchildren are led through, and wouldn’t it be nice if there were exhibits all over town—in buses and classrooms and other public places?

  • Nelson Algren
  • Photo by Art Shay