| Aug 14, 2013
| 1:40 PM
Carly Mensch has had plays done at Steppenwolf in Chicago, Ars Nova in New York City and the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky. She's also written for the TV shows "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie." Often, when writers are sucked into screenwriting jobs, they...
| Feb 1, 2013
| 12:07 PM
We sped south on Cicero Avenue. Through Oak Lawn, Alsip, Crestwood, a flat, aging strip-malled landscape of crumbling pizza joints and ancient tanning parlors, fast-food chains, tile-supply stores and —
"Wow!" I shouted, "Look! The Brazen Head!"...
| May 7, 2013
| 8:38 AM
When I got my reviewer's copy of Bill Walsh's new book, Yes I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk (St. Martin's Griffin, 256 pages, $14.99), the book fell open to this passage: "You're free to talk back to your usage guides....
| May 3, 2013
| 4:45 PM
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An infinite jest, Chicago lyricist Chance the Rapper's stellar new mixtape "Acid Rap" begins with a woman's seductive voice -- chanteuse Lili K. -- uttering, "Even better than I was the last time, baby,...
| Apr 3, 2013
| 11:19 AM
Renata Adler has won renown during her years as a staff writer for The New Yorker and film critic for the New York Times. Though her political and arts criticism has been deeply divisive at times, she remains a powerful force in the literary world. Adler'...
| Apr 4, 2013
| 4:50 PM
Singer/guitarist Marnie Stern's evaluation of her discography sounds a bit like Goldilocks reviewing porridge.
"With the first record I thought, 'Oh, it's too experimental,'" she said. "With the second record I thought, 'Oh, it's too rock.' With the...
| Oct 15, 2012
| 12:17 AM
Josh Radnor, best known for the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, struck out on his first film – HappyThankYouMorePlease. In this movie, he hits it out of the park. Perhaps some of the themes you’ve seen before – age difference in...
| Nov 12, 2012
On a warm September day in Chicago, Rishad Tobaccowala counseled a roomful of Leo Burnett executives on how to sell high-tech gadgets -- told in terms of hot dogs.
Tobaccowala, who has spent 30 years at Leo Burnett and affiliated agencies,...
| Jul 12, 2012
Is spoken word poetry not literature? That's what, of all people, Henry Rollins seemed to say at an event in LA Wednesday night....
| Apr 29, 2012
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 322 pp., $26
I didn't much like Jonathan Franzen's essay "Farther Away" when I read it a year ago in the New Yorker. A complicated mishmash of a...
| Apr 29, 2011
| 3:55 PM
'The Pale King'
By David Foster Wallace
Little Brown, 560 pages, $27.99
"The Pale King" is composed of parts of the "something long" on which 46-year-old David Foster Wallace was working before he hanged himself at his home in Claremont, Calif., on Sept....