| Dec 5, 2012
| 3:15 PM
Da Chen hit bestseller lists in 1999 with his first book, the memoir "Colors of the Mountain." That, and its sequel, "Sounds of the River," told of the hardships he experienced while growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution.
Chen had moved...
| Dec 7, 2012
| 10:58 AM
When author Margaret Meacham was a little girl, she let her imagination soar while perched high in the branches of a buckeye tree in her family's Pittsburgh backyard.
Now, half a century after those leafy daydreams, the 60-year-old Meacham is a popular...
| Aug 5, 2012
Sandi Tan's past is teeming with ghosts. The Pasadena-based filmmaker-turned-novelist isn't a "seer" herself — she's a self-described scaredy-cat and doesn't particularly enjoy supernatural books and movies — but her childhood in Singapore...
| Aug 17, 2012
| 5:48 PM
There's probably some great psychology/sociology book out there that analyzes why we like ghost stories, why they appear in nearly every culture, and why they're generally the first horror concept each culture develops. Presumably it has something to do...
| Aug 23, 2012
Zero stars (out of four)
In the astoundingly incompetent “The Apparition,” the most legitimate conversation involves a debate about whether or not Costco sells saguaro cacti.
Good news, green thumbs; it appears they do.
Pretty much every...
| Feb 2, 2012
| 4:42 PM
It just doesn't seem right watching Natalie Dormer act in contemporary clothing, let alone with her natural blond hair.
"I do quite a lot contemporary stuff," Dormer told me, laughing, during a phone interview from London, "but the American audience...
| Feb 3, 2012
| 8:43 AM
On the opening night of Chicago Live! Thursday, in its new home at Pipers Alley with The Second City, the show didn't feel new: It felt like a homecoming. No one from Chicago would feel out of place.
Rick Kogan needed no script to talk about the 43rd...
| Feb 6, 2012
| 10:14 AM
Are we always to be haunted by our past? August Wilson raises the question in hisPulitzer Prize-winning play "The Piano Lesson."
"There ain't no ghosts in this house," insists Boy Willie, recently returned to the home shared by his uncle and sister.
| Aug 24, 2012
| 3:55 PM
All summer long, Printers Row invited kids ages 5-16 to send in book reviews. Here's what young Chicago-area writers had to say. We've left the reviews mostly unedited to let the charm shine through. Watch for more to come.
"Frog and Toad All Year" by...
| Aug 30, 2012
**1/2 (out of four)
Last week's “The Apparition” contained an alarming lack of skill. So “The Awakening” represents a certain corrective because it disturbs for reasons other than nearly everyone involved in the horror movie not...
| Sep 14, 2012
| 1:19 PM
"Liesl & Po" by Lauren Oliver
"Liesl and Po" is about a girl, a boy, a ghost, and a ghost pet. Will (the boy), confuses a box containing ashes of Henry Morbower, who is Liesl's father, with the most powerful magic in the world. Liesl is locked in the...