| May 20, 2014
| 6:01 PM
Writer Sam Greenlee, whose novel "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" about his experiences as a rare black man working for the U.S. Foreign Service in the 1950s and '60s was turned into a 1973 independent film, has died in Chicago. He was 83.
He died from...
| May 22, 2014
| 11:13 AM
Last week as TV networks announced their lineup for the upcoming season, I noticed more grumbling than usual about the short life span that befalls shows that aren't an instant ratings hit.
"The press release for NBC's Manson-killings drama "AQUARIUS"...
| Jan 31, 2014
Even with the best of maps, you may never know where you're going until you get there.
When Barrie Jean Borich came to the end of writing her most recent book, "Body Geographic" ("a stunningly original memoir," said the Kirkus review), she had no...
| Jan 31, 2014
| 8:52 AM
Travon Biggs, a.k.a. the Bop King of the World, a.k.a. the Fastest Legs on the West Side, a.k.a. the originator of the Kemo Step, a.k.a. Lil' Kemo, walked up his unplowed street in North Lawndale the other day, sneakers sliding sideways in the slush....
| Feb 14, 2014
The "Weeks in Review" feature is an open thread in which commenters can talk about any current events or cultural phenomena that have caught their attention, including but not limited to the topics brought up in our traditional roundup of......
| Mar 15, 2013
| 5:24 PM
It was a thrill for me whenever the Michael Lenehan byline appeared above a story — usually a very lengthy story — in The Atlantic from the early 1980s to early 1990s. Occasionally he would write for his home publication, the Chicago Reader,...
| Jan 17, 2014
| 9:57 AM
Three pigeons were sharing what was left of a piece of pizza that was lying on the sidewalk on East 53rd Street near Woodlawn Avenue on Tuesday morning, between the hours we human beings usually eat breakfast and lunch.
No one walking past or around the...
| Aug 9, 2013
| 11:55 AM
When critics are too lazy to explain how and why something works, they compare it to magic. On the second page of his introduction to "My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles," Peter Biskind describes Welles'...
| Aug 31, 2013
"The papers in Chicago in those days were unlike any printed anywhere else," wrote the great Hugh Fullerton in 1928 for the Saturday Evening Post. "They were written largely in the language that the wild growing young city understood." On the evidence...
| Apr 4, 2013
You know what "Star Wars" is about? I mean, really about? Vietnam. It's a critical allegory of the war: The Rebels are the scrappy Viet Cong, hastily assembled, devoted and relentless; the Empire is the American military, tripped up by an enemy using...
| Apr 22, 2013
826CHI is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students. 826chi.org
Tom Acitelli is author...