We're kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.

The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?

Posted inArts & Culture

Hole

You don’t wake up one day a charted country, it happens slowly, in parts. But suddenly you notice that the once all-compelling mystery of your deepest holes has already been explored. The maddening desire and titillation you felt at being bared, licked, prodded where no one had ever been (or where many had been but […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rattled by the Rush

S.M. storms around lower Manhattan remembering the trees at dusk, how they once looked caramel-dipped, during those months of light and merry, and how brightly the taffy clouds of morning glowed after he and his friends determined that nothing like parents or family mattered anymore; nothing; just candy. From that, what–frenzy? addiction? liberation? a decade […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Credit and Agency

In the law school library, harassed by coffee headaches and razor sharp paper edges, Roz would occasionally drift into a remembered scent–frangipani and pineapple rind, some rotting garbage amid the sweet–and every sense in her would mourn the end of her travels. Yet she recoiled when, studying on her boyfriend’s leather sofa instead of in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Waiter Dreams

You’re on the top of a hill, wearing your black pants, black soft-soled shoes, black apron, and white shirt. You’re next to a station set up with a silver rectangular bucket of ice, plastic pitchers of water and iced tea, straws, sugar and artificial sweeteners, creamers, coffee warmers, stacked glasses, piles of napkins, and sliced […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pinchas Zukerman

PINCHAS ZUKERMAN Violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman has been a fixture on the international music scene for decades, performing frequently with lifelong friends like Daniel Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman–Barenboim, in fact, conducted Zukerman’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in 1970. But though he’s just as talented and charismatic as Perlman and has a similar core repertoire, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Boy in the Garden

Dale knows the route by heart–Illinois 33, angling across farmland to Mattoon, where I-57 stretches north to Chicago. “I can drive it with my eyes closed,” he tells his wife, Cassie. “Don’t do that,” she says. “I want you back in one piece.” They’re outside in the garden where the morning air is still and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fiddler on the Roof

At nearly three hours, this revival takes its time. But then life in the shtetl of Anatevka in 1905 moves at a pretty glacial pace, even if history is clashing with tradition. The future arrives in little things–taboos broken, rumors spread–as much as in czarist edicts, and that’s why the plight of Sholom Aleichem’s dairyman […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Girls’ Weekend

The bologna my dad is frying pops up in the middle and looks like four B-cup boobs. At least it does to me. But then a lot of things look like boobs–clouds, snack cakes, most citrus fruits. They’re pretty much everywhere. Although I’ve never seen the real thing. Just a lot of hints and near […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love

We are in love but you don’t know it. You are slow on some of these ordinary things; you grow angry when I mention liberation theology, Adam Smith’s unseen hand, proposals to ban land mines–things I thought everyone knew about, were in the atmosphere, but you are impervious to them, breathing your own mist. You […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Todd Herbert Quartet

TODD HERBERT QUARTET Young tenor man Todd Herbert left the Chicago area for New York in 1997, but in a city that draws so many talented aspirants it can take a while to make a splash. Despite his speed and confidence, Herbert has barely made a ripple so far in New York–to the best of […]