| Mar 12, 2013
| 3:01 PM
During the 2012 presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney's openness about his Mormon faith brought to the surface many of the generalizations Americans maintain about what it means to be a Mormon. Ryan McIlvain's debut novel "Elders"...
| Mar 13, 2013
| 1:14 PM
The traditionally staid American Academy of Arts and Letters is both charmed and flummoxed by Bob Dylan. The academy announced Wednesday that it voted the musician into its ranks -- its first rock musician ever. But he will be an honorary member: Not...
| Jan 18, 2013
| 2:25 PM
I've been spending my holiday teaching break trying to finish a manuscript for a young adult coming-of-age novel I'm working on, which has me thinking a lot about coming-of-age novels, which has me wondering if all good novels aren't coming-of-age novels....
| Jan 10, 2013
| 8:58 PM
Evan S. Connell Jr., a literary iconoclast whose writings as a novelist, poet, essayist and historian won the admiration of critics and a cult-like following of discerning readers with books on subjects as eclectic as Midwestern provincialism, the...
| Jan 11, 2013
| 3:28 PM
In this moving memoir, Katrina Kenison beckons readers into her world and proves to be an insightful guide and companion through the vicissitudes of life.
After the death of a friend, and when her youngest son leaves their rural New Hampshire home to...
| Jan 4, 2013
| 4:35 PM
For George Saunders, the lines between utopia and dystopia, between realism and science fiction, between humor and horror, have always been fine. Never is it more true, though, than in his new collection of short stories, “Tenth of December.”...
| Dec 21, 2012
| 1:16 PM
Learning last year that Bob Boone, one of my former teachers at Highland Park High School (never mind when), was still teaching creative writing to children and adults filled me with the kind of joy you get when you return to your hometown decades later...
| Dec 1, 2012
My first dog was a golden retriever named Tisha. Tisha was quiet and friendly, a perfect golden for a 4-year-old boy; my mother swears that when we took her to the vet one last time, as the dog lay dying on the operating table, Tisha lifted her head at...
| Dec 4, 2012
| 4:21 PM
England's most feared literary prize was announced Tuesday night -- "awarded" wouldn't be the right word, because the winning author was not in attendance. That was Nancy Huston, who took the 2012 Bad Sex in Fiction Award for her novel "Infrared."
| Dec 7, 2012
| 12:12 PM
Shortly before he died, John Updike paid tribute to that great painter of portraits, John Singer Sargent. “We're drawn to artists who tell us that art is difficult to do, and takes a spiritual effort, because we are still puritan enough to respect a...
| Dec 7, 2012
| 12:13 PM
Every journalist's nightmare is the interview with the subject who responds to questions with one-sentence (or even one-word) answers. Fortunately, the writer Nathan Englander — who was in Chicago recently as the inaugural Crown Speaker Series...