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Julia Keller

Julia Keller
Julia Keller, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, is cultural critic at the Chicago Tribune. She joined the Tribune in late 1998.

Keller was born and raised in Huntington, W. Va. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in English from Marshall University, and a doctoral degree, also in English, from Ohio State University. Her dissertation explored literary biography, focusing on biographies of Virginia Woolf.

She was a 1998 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. In the fall of 2006, she was McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University. Keller also is guest essayist on the PBS program "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer."

Her book, "Mr. Gatling...
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Julia Keller, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, is cultural critic at the Chicago Tribune. She joined the Tribune in late 1998.

Keller was born and raised in Huntington, W. Va. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in English from Marshall University, and a doctoral degree, also in English, from Ohio State University. Her dissertation explored literary biography, focusing on biographies of Virginia Woolf.

She was a 1998 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. In the fall of 2006, she was McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University. Keller also is guest essayist on the PBS program "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer."

Her book, "Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It," will be published by Viking in May 2008.
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Top Julia Keller Articles

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  • Editor's choice: 'Summer of the Dead'

    Editor's choice: 'Summer of the Dead'
    Ackers Gap, W.Va. After my previous travels there, no encouragement was necessary for another excursion. The town is more than merely a speck on an imaginary map, and it is a way to channel my former Chicago Tribune and Pulitzer Prize-winning...
  • Wild Thing: Maurice Sendak made incomparable art from childhood's monsters

    Wild Thing: Maurice Sendak made incomparable art from childhood's monsters
    For every kid with a scraped knee, a skinned elbow, a bumped head and a torn shirt — the inevitable result of being very determined not to learn from one's mistakes — Maurice Sendak was your man. For every kid who builds forts out of old...
  • The long road home after 9/11

    The long road home after 9/11
    "Grief," writes Thomas Lynch, "is the tax we pay on our attachments." It is a beautiful line. It is simple and lovely and true. If you don't feel love, then you don't feel sorrow; to live without a close connection to another person is to avoid all the...
  • How flower books grow on you

    How flower books grow on you
    Two books — one old, one new — changed my mind about flowers. Before reading them, my attitude toward flowers could perhaps best be described as "indifferent." I did not hate them, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to include them...
  • From Walter Payton to John Matusak, the great ones return in former Chicago sportswriter's new collection

    From Walter Payton to John Matusak, the great ones return in former Chicago sportswriter's new collection
    Sportswriting is one of those professions that looks easy – all you do is watch a game and sling an opinion, right? – but is actually quite difficult precisely because of that apparent ease. Opinions are a dime a dozen. Being able to...
  • What if dad thinks he's Dostoevski?

    Some people dream of smacking the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, or curing cancer, or being elected president, or running into a burning building to rescue babies and/or kittens. And some people dream of sitting down at a desk to...
  • Bam! Pow! Crunch! Michael Chabon builds a new superhero

    Bam! Pow! Crunch! Michael Chabon builds a new superhero
    Repeat after me: Sklurp. Skreeech. Ska-runch. There. Feels good, doesn't it? Some words are just plain fun to say. And those are the words, according to Michael Chabon, that belong in any honorable, self-respecting bedtime story for children, the kind...
  • Chicago yarn is standout in 'Best American Short Stories 2011'

    Chicago yarn is standout in 'Best American Short Stories 2011'
    You don't know a city — really know it, that is, as opposed to just learning the bus routes and having a favorite bar — until you've walked a mile in its fictions. Until you see the way great fiction writers deal with the city. Among the best...
  • Poems of sin-eaters, souls and suffering

    Poems of sin-eaters,  souls and suffering
    In the introduction to his impishly profound new collection of poems, Thomas Lynch recalls that when he finished writing the first handful, he "field-tested them at Joe's Star Lounge on North Main Street in Ann Arbor." The event is "a kind of communion, I...
  • Mike Lupica, blue-chip writer

    Mike Lupica, blue-chip writer
    If you watch "The Sports Reporters" each Sunday on ESPN, as I do religiously, you know how Mike Lupica looks just before he's about to deliver a contrarian opinion about some topical issue in the sports world. He leans forward in his chair. His forehead...
  • When author gets in the way

    Modern psychiatry has robbed the world of its monsters. We know so much more about the brain, about the complex interaction of chemicals that determines an individual's fate, than ever before. Thus to look upon a heinous act and attribute it to...