Do take the opportunity to read this week’s cover story, on late Reader staff writer Grant Pick, upon the publication of his outstanding anthology The People Are the News: Grant Pick’s Chicago Stories. To accompany the excerpts from the work, I recorded a reading of his 2004 story “The Power of the Keys”; you can listen or download the mp3. Tonight, his son John, a Steppenwolf-trained actor who edited the book, will lead a panel discussion, featuring Michael Miner, Alex Kotlowitz, and Hank Klibanoff, at 6 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Other lit news:

* Literago reports that Patrick Somerville sold his first novel, The Cradle, to Little, Brown; it’s due in March 2009.

* Elizabeth Crane is reading from her new collection of stories, You Must Be This Happy to Enter, tonight at Quimby’s; you can listen to the title story here (scroll down to Feb. 4, “In Pursuit of Happiness”).

* Dan Savage headlines the Poetry Center’s No Love For Love: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Show, Monday at the Apollo Theater.