| Sep 15, 2013
In the wake of the great Elmore Leonard’s death, I immediately felt a great sense of loss. Leonard was for decades a constant in my reading life, each book coming at me with fascinating characters and perfect dialogue; each book reminding me how...
| Aug 9, 2013
| 11:32 AM
It must have been great to come of age during the Age of Aquarius. You know … peace, love, harmony, granny dresses and the chance to change the world.
Groovy, yeah, unless you were a kid stuck in a dreary Upstate New York place like Brewster. No...
| Sep 6, 2013
| 8:29 AM
"The Childhood of Jesus" features no character named Jesus.
That surely counts as one of the major provocations in J.M. Coetzee's delightfully vexing new novel.
This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to...
| Nov 24, 2013
On Thanksgiving Day 1963, as the nation still was reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a 22-year-old woman was killed in Hollywood. Her naked body wasn't discovered by neighbors for three days. Though still a struggling, little-...
| Sep 20, 2013
The special prosecutor who brought involuntary manslaughter charges against former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew after a Rush Street confrontation led to the death of David Koschman concluded Thursday that he will not bring charges against the Chicago...
| Sep 15, 2013
One unheralded author and a tiny publisher received a Pulitzer surprise in 2010 when Paul Harding's “Tinkers” won the big prize for fiction. The debut novelist and his publisher, Bellevue Literary Press (based at the New York University School...
| Aug 30, 2013
| 9:06 AM
Birthdays carry burdens for young Claire. Each year, her beleaguered father takes her from their shack in a seaside Haitian village to visit the grave of her mother, who died giving birth. Claire's seventh birthday dawns with an additional portent, as a...
| Oct 26, 2013
| 7:02 PM
"Banana" George Blair loved yellow. When he water-skied barefoot, which he did into his 80s in theme park shows, he wore a yellow wetsuit and was towed by a yellow boat.
But it didn't stop there. "Banana" George, who drove a yellow Lincoln and lived...
| Aug 14, 2013
| 7:57 AM
Oprah Winfrey has been making all kinds of headlines recently -- starring alongside Forest Whitaker in "The Butler," recounting an alleged incident of shopping-related racism in Switzerland, and wearing a ginormous Afro wig on the September cover of O...
| Nov 21, 2013
| 8:41 AM
It's one thing to study human sexuality in the Midwest in the 1950s. It is yet quite another to find willing participants. But William Masters and Virginia Johnson — the St. Louis-based researchers who would become famous as America's foremost sex...
| Sep 23, 2013
| 11:29 PM
Oscar Espinosa Chepe
Cuban economist fell out with Castro
Oscar Espinosa Chepe, 72, a high-level Cuban economist and diplomat who broke with Fidel Castro's government in the 1990s and was imprisoned for dissident activities, died Monday at a...