| Dec 16, 2013
| 4:27 PM
Box office observers have long credited Tyler Perry's "Madea" franchise with at least one thing: reliability.
As surely as Christmas comes once a year, a movie with Perry directing himself in drag as the volatile matriarch Mabel "Madea" Simmons is...
| Sep 20, 2013
This week marked the 50th anniversary remembrance of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. — a notorious, racially motivated crime that killed four little girls and helped gain support for the passage of the Civil...
| Dec 4, 2011
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95
A crisis of faith prompts a man to begin a journey of self-discovery from Africa to Asia.
The Angel Esmeralda
The first collection of short stories from a...
| Nov 13, 2011
| 5:45 PM
No joke: Bernie Mac is the funniest American writer of the past 132 years. Funnier than Woody Allen. Funnier than Lenny Bruce. Funnier than David Sedaris. Funnier than Mark Twain even, and certainly funnier than Dave Barry. At least, the late King of...
| Jan 21, 2013
| 1:08 PM
Today the nation honors the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the reverend and activist who led the American civil rights movement. As King studied nonviolence as practiced by Gandhi and imagined by Henry David Thoreau, now his own life and work are the...
| May 29, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron, a singer, songwriter, poet and author whose social commentary and combination of spoken words with musical grooves are widely cited as a seminal influence on rap music, died Friday. He was 62.
The Associated Press reported that a friend,...
| Dec 10, 2011
This year, women are very much in charge of the Congo Square Theatre's annual production of "The Nativity." Starting with the new director, Ilesa Duncan, and extending all the way up to Gabriel.
That archangel is played this year by Alexis J. Rogers,...
| Dec 22, 2011
| 6:53 AM
Nic Vasilchek knew that the fortunes of his Luella (Ga.) High football team were intimately tied to cornerback Alvin Hill.
With that in mind, the Lions coach decided to play the Maryland commitment sparingly on offense and not at all on special teams,...
| Dec 24, 2011
When we think about the year-end holidays, books often are at the center of our memories. Maybe we received a special book as a gift, and it became a cherished memento. Or maybe we read a book about the holidays each year, as a treasured part of our...
| Jun 20, 2011
| 2:14 PM
Poetry makes nothing happen.
So saidW.H. Auden.
Who never lived in Chicago.
Or knew Don Share. Share is the senior editor of Poetry magazine, the venerable Chicago-based literary institution. It turns 100 next year and has seen far more than nothing...
| Jan 13, 2012
| 1:02 PM
It has been 50 years since Ezra Jack Keats introduced the world to young Peter, the little hand-painted boy who awakens to a fresh snowfall and sets out on a joyful errand.
"He picked up a handful of snow — and another, and still another. He packed...