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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

Displaying items 45-55
  • Books, films and fans: Nervous "Help" fans try the movie

    Books, films and fans: Nervous "Help" fans try the movie
    Take a beloved book, turn it into a film – and take cover, because the millions who adore the book will come out swinging. Their affection makes them protective. Love makes them loyal – and ready to punch anyone who messes with the object of...
  • More great literary letters

    "Letters of James Agee to Father Flye" (1962). The poet, novelist and film critic James Agee was fatherless from a young age and filled the gap with a kindly Catholic priest, to whom Agee wrote frequently and candidly. "The Letters of Virginia Woolf"...
  • New leaf

    New leaf
    To understand why the hiring of Brian Bannon as Chicago's public library commissioner caused a more-than-ordinary stir, let us quote a learned cultural authority. That authority is not Socrates. It is not Shakespeare. It is not Goethe. Nor is it...
  • Make-up calls – and musings on the 2011 Man Booker

    Make-up calls – and musings on the 2011 Man Booker
    In the sporting world, there is something called the "make-up call." Umpires and referees deny it exists, but the idea is that when they blow a call — and the crowd is always happy to point out when this has occurred, employing the time-honored...
  • Poetic justice

    A good anthology is like a dartboard in a crowded bar on a Saturday night. Everybody lines up to take their best shot. Everybody wants the chance to squint, aim and let fly. The more august and monumental and definitive-seeming the anthology —...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • First-person singular: 'Hemingway's Boat' gets to the rugged heart of a complicated, captivating man

    First-person singular: 'Hemingway's Boat' gets to the rugged heart of a complicated, captivating man
    Every writer has two lives: The life that contains elements common to all lives — birth and death and everything in between — and a second life. The second life is another thing entirely. It consists of the world's reaction to the writer's...
  • They're playing our poem

    They're playing our poem
    If you want to make Stephen Sondheim mad enough to swat you over the head with a rolled-up musical score, try this: Call him a poet. As Sondheim insists in interviews, essays and in the introduction to his book "Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics...
  • King epic takes on time travel

    King epic takes on time travel
    In every life, a little fall must reign. One slip, one missed opportunity, one hesitation or wrong turn can haunt you forever, casting an intractable shadow over the rest of your days. The words "if only" are never far from anyone's thoughts. But what...
  • Scintillating prose — the second time around

    Scintillating prose — the second time around
    On the fifth floor of the Chicago Tribune Tower is a square windowless room accessed by a single door. This room is called, with a regrettable lack of imagination, the Book Room. It will not surprise you to learn that it is filled with books. Day...