| Jan 2, 2014
| 1:14 PM
Our club: We are The Book Club in the Fox River Valley and have been meeting since 1972. Five of our eight original members are still active. We now have 17 members and have read over 400 books.
Our meetings: We meet once a month. The hostess is never...
| Feb 21, 2014
This is an ambitious work about an enduring ambition — "The Dream of the Great American Novel." As Lawrence Buell's title suggests, there's something both wide-eyed and not-quite-actual about the idea of the G.A.N., an abbreviation first coined by...
| Feb 14, 2014
| 9:30 AM
Although he would hardly cause a blip on cultural radar screens today, Carl Van Vechten was, at various stages of his long and storied life, a journalist, provocateur, novelist, nightlife denizen, music and theater critic, confidant to Gertrude Stein,...
| Jan 7, 2014
| 9:35 AM
Zora Neale Hurston, celebrated Tuesday in a Google Doodle, died in 1960 in a welfare home after giving the world some of its greatest literature. Although her greatest renown came after death, in life the African American novelist and anthropologist was a...
| Nov 18, 2013
| 6:00 AM
"Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," in which the former directs a film about the latter, premieres Monday on HBO. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
The first black female comic to make it in the...
| Nov 4, 2013
| 5:09 AM
Over the past 181 years, the bill of sale has turned a pale tan. The ink has faded from black to brown and includes elaborate flourishes that seem ill-suited to such a grim and ugly business.
On Feb. 25, 1832, the bill reads, a slave named William...
| Aug 1, 2013
What do you think of when you think of Chicago?
Great indie music. Some of my favorites include: Urge Overkill, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ministry, alt country pioneers The Waco Brothers, Liz Phair (the early days), Neko Case, The Redwalls, Smith Westerns,...
| Jun 21, 2013
| 8:53 AM
In the story of the proposed American Writers Museum, we've had the prologue and the introduction. Now comes the long-awaited Chapter One, with the unveiling last week of plans for the museum's "First Edition," the inaugural stage in the creation of the...
| Apr 26, 2013
| 4:30 PM
One thing to know about our book club
We are the Jay Stream Middle School Book Club. We started in 2003, and we all are, or have been, staff members at Jay Stream Middle School in Carol Stream.
This piece first ran in Printers...
| Oct 1, 2012
The new book "Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy From Slavery to Hip-Hop," by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen, explores the history of minstrelsy, dissecting how it became the most popular form of American entertainment before vaudeville and identifying how...
| Jul 2, 2013
| 12:02 PM
Thousands of years have washed over this slender sandbar of a barrier island called Anastasia. But only recently has man written his history on this coastline.
As you stand along the park's barren, wind-swept beach, squinting inland over light-washed...