| Apr 15, 2014
| 3:01 PM
In the West Town loft that Jessica Charlesworth shares with husband, Tim Parsons, along the back wall, on a row of metal filing cabinets, a kaleidoscope of Post-it notes waved in a soft draft, each a kind of dispatch from the future. I leaned in to...
| Apr 20, 2014
| 3:00 AM
Social issues are labeled "wedge issues" for a reason. They appeal to emotion. They are easily communicated. They count when ballots are cast. Throw in poll-tested rhetoric and effective manipulation of facts, and there you have it: the capture of an...
| May 7, 2013
| 5:15 AM
Remarkable how two words, scribbled nearly a century ago about a 16-year-old Lake Forest debutante, can evoke a whole country, its hypocrisies and promises, its aspirations and crushing realities.
Last week, the University of South Carolina posted...
| Jul 6, 2014
Mahmoud Saeed is leaving Chicago soon, going home to the wreckage of Iraq.
He'll travel light.
Four suits, he thinks.
A few of his hundred or so hats.
Some photos of Jackie and Samir.
Going back to Iraq right now may seem like a crazy thing to...
| Jan 22, 2014
| 1:47 PM
Among the many things to admire about the new HBO crime series "True Detective" is the title, which is broad, pithy, self-conscious and laced with a stank of menace. Or maybe that's just the smell it gives off when played against the show's apocalyptic...
| May 9, 2014
Who's in charge these days, man or machine?
Two recent books, "The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies" and "Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans," explore this question.
| Mar 21, 2014
In 1993, I persuaded the Tribune's then-arts editor to send me to Columbia, Mo., to report on the first show in almost 20 years of a cult band that loomed huge for those of us under its spell. Two University of Missouri undergrads had phoned the ever-...
| Dec 17, 2013
I was in seventh grade when I began poring over Beatles books. That was shortly after I’d gotten the “Red” and “Blue” double-record compilations and started methodically, obsessively buying album after album, hoping...
| May 2, 2014
My adopted home state of South Carolina is making a strong run to unseat Illinois for the top spot on the rankings of politicians behaving stupidly.
Our percentage of politicians being indicted on criminal charges may be lower, but we have some state-...
| Apr 25, 2014
It used to be if you wanted to hear someone talking to an author at length on the radio, you had to wait for Terry Gross and "Fresh Air" to invite someone on. I think Gross is a great interviewer, and sometimes her author chats are so good (particularly...
| Mar 21, 2014
Winning a big literary prize is a bonus in every possible way for a writer — sales, attention, acclaim — except one: Suddenly a whole posse of readers shows up to say how much they hate your book, and quite possibly you and your little dog...