WBEZ | One Book One Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/one-book-one-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en In praise of 'One Book, One Chicago' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/praise-one-book-one-chicago-102620 <p><p><img alt="" book="" chicago="" class="image-original_image" flickr="" in="" is="" latest="" one="" program="" selection="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/crimsong19.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: left; " the="" title="" /></p><p>Fall is in the air. Trees are beginning to turn yellow and orange. Football season is in full swing. And, the mayor&rsquo;s office has just announced the fall selection for <em>One Book, One Chicago</em>:&nbsp;<em>The Book Thief</em> by award-winning Australian&nbsp;author Markus Zusak. The setting is World War II in Nazi Germany, and the story is of an orphan girl, Liesel Meminger, who finds friendship and love in a family who takes her in. Amidst the madness of the Nazi regime Liesel learns how words can be used to make life meaningful and worthwhile &mdash; or conversely, to create evil and darkness.</p><p>Since the inauguration of <em>One Book, One Chicago</em> in 2001 there have been 23 books offered to the public, usually in the fall and spring. I&#39;ve been uncomfotable with a few selections, mainly because I thought they were either too long, too arcane or too disconnected from the Chicago experience to interest a local audience. But overall, I have enjoyed the selections, and in fact, six of them are in my personal pantheon of favorite books! <em>To Kill A Mockingbird</em> by Harper Lee; <em>A Raisin in the Sun </em>by Lorraine Hansberry; <em>The Coast of Chicago</em> by Stuart Dybek; <em>One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich</em> by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; <em>Go Tell It on a Mountain</em> by James Baldwin; and, <em>The House on Mango Street</em> by Sandra Cisneros.</p><p>The purpose of <em>One Book, One Chicago</em> is not just to generate a list of worthwhile books. It&rsquo;s real purpose is to share ideas and encourage debate and dialogue through seminars and presentations. But for me the best part of it has been the innumerable spontaneous chats I&rsquo;ve had with fellow readers while riding the Green Line and the cups of coffee I&rsquo;ve had with colleagues while debating the nuances of the latest selection. And, the simple pleasure of simultaneously reading a book with my wife and sharing our impressions while on a leisurely walk or in the car.</p><p>Of course, the beauty of all books is that they take us out of ourselves, show us other parts of the world and introduce us to characters we might never otherwise meet. Good works, good ideas, good reads &mdash; it&#39;s truly a worthwhile personal and communal activity. As Groucho Marx once said: &ldquo;Outside of a dog, a book is a (person&rsquo;s) best friend. Inside of a dog, it&rsquo;s too dark to read!&rdquo;</p><p><em>WBEZ is a media sponsor of </em>One Book, One Chicago<em>. Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/praise-one-book-one-chicago-102620 Writing the city with Stuart Dybek http://www.wbez.org/content/writing-city-stuart-dybek <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/pilsen_flickr_nuevo anden.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/pilsen_flickr_nuevo anden.jpg" style="margin: 5px; width: 610px; height: 341px;" title="Stuart Dybek grew up in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Many of his stories are set there. (Flickr/Nuevo Anden) "></p><p>A disclaimer: Stuart Dybek is my favorite writer. Full stop. I make everyone I care about read <em>Coast of Chicago</em>, his collection of short stories that explores the nostalgia of childhood and the haunted quality of some of the city’s post-industrial neighborhoods. There are moments in stories like “Hot Ice” or “Blight” where he so perfectly captures the nuance of the city and all of its beautiful, gritty viaducts and street corners, rooftops and alleyways, that it makes me despair of ever trying to tell stories about this place of ours.</p><p>Dybek’s gift for writing about Chicago and drawing out the emotional qualities of city life make him an obvious choice for an upcoming <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/oboc/11f_augie/oboc_11f_greeting.php">One Book, One Chicago</a> event Chicago as Literary Muse. The latest incarnation of Chicago Public Library’s One Book program spotlights Saul Bellow’s classic Chicago novel <em>The Adventures of Augie March</em>, a coming of age story <a href="../../story/finding-%E2%80%98augie-march%E2%80%99-saul-bellow%E2%80%99s-chicago-92283">set in 1930s Humboldt Park</a>. To honor writing about Chicago, next week’s event features Dybek, as well as WBEZ’s own Natalie Moore and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas">Achy Obejas</a>, who also take their inspiration from the history and life of the city.</p><p>Shortly after he was awarded a MacArthur “genius grant” Dybek gave a talk at the Chicago History Museum about his work. In it he describes the intensely pleasurable “shock of recognition” we get when reading about a place we know deeply, and about the nameless feeling more intense than nostalgia that sometimes follows. To get psyched for next Thursday you can hear an excerpt of Dybek’s previous talk in the audio above.</p><p><em>Chicago as Literary Muse: Reading, Discussion and Reception takes place Thursday, October 13, at 7 p.m. at the Stop Smiling storefront at 1371 N. Milwaukee Avenue. WBEZ is a media sponsor of One Book, One Chicago.<a href="../../series/dynamic-range"> </a></em></p><p><em><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Stuart Dybek spoke at an event presented by the <a href="http://www.chicagohistory.org/" target="_blank">Chicago History Museum </a>in October of 2007. Click <a href="../../episode-segments/chicago-treasures-stuart-dybek">here </a>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 20:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/writing-city-stuart-dybek Finding ‘Augie March’ in Saul Bellow’s Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/finding-%E2%80%98augie-march%E2%80%99-saul-bellow%E2%80%99s-chicago-92283 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/Macy&#039;s-atrium-2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Saul Bellow’s Chicago of the 1930s and ‘40s there were millinery factories in the Loop and Humboldt Park was more Polish than Puerto Rican.</p><p>At age 9, the Nobel laureate immigrated to Chicago from Canada and grew up on the near West Side in a two-flat on Augusta Boulevard. His childhood in the city was fodder for many of his later novels, including <em>Humboldt’s Gift</em> and <em>The Adventures of Augie March</em>, which was recently selected by Chicago Public Library as this fall’s choice for <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/onebook_onechgo.php">One Book, One Chicago</a>.</p><p>Like Bellow, street-smart Augie grows up in Humboldt Park during the Great Depression. As he ages he engages in various business endeavors: stealing books from Carson’s to sell to unsuspecting college students, for example, or smuggling immigrants into the U.S. from Canada. Chicago is a backdrop throughout, and at times, almost a character in the book.</p><p>For all the changes the city has seen, many landmarks from Bellow’s Chicago childhood are still recognizable, if not iconic. Jason Lesniewicz, a tour guide for <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/tours/tourism/Chicago_Neighborhood_Tours.htm">Chicago Neighborhood Tours</a> helped us seek out some sites beloved to Augie, and to Bellow, that still capture the city’s distinctive sense of place. Photos of many locations on the tour along with Lesniewicz's explanations follow.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Saul Bellow's childhood home</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/saul-bellow-house-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Saul-Bellow%27s-house-1.jpg" style="width: 281px; height: 500px;" title="Saul Bellow's childhood home at 2629 W. Augusta Blvd. "></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Carson's</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/carsons-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Carson%27s-1.jpg" style="width: 281px; height: 500px;" title="Carson's, a classic Louis Sullivan building dating from 1899. Augie goes there to steal books. "></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Marshall Field's</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/macys-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Macy%27s-1.jpg" style="width: 281px; height: 500px;" title="Macy's on State, formerly Marshall Field's. "></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Tiffany-roof-Macy%27s.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" title="The Tiffany ceiling in Marshall Field's."></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Macy%27s-atrium-2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" title="The atrium inside Marshall Field's."></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Macy%27s-atrium.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" title="The atrium, looking up. "></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Palmer House </strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/palmer-house-hilton-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Palmer-House-lobby-1_0.jpg" style="width: 281px; height: 500px;" title="The lobby of the Palmer House."></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Peacock-doors-1.jpg" style="width: 281px; height: 500px;" title="The peacock doors inside the Palmer House. "></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Reynolds Club</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/reynolds-club-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Reynolds-Club.jpg" style="width: 334px; height: 500px;" title="The Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago."></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Humboldt Park Lagoon</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483727-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-september/2011-09-21/boat-house-audio.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Humboldt-Park-boat-house-1.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" title="The boat house at Humboldt Park."></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-21/Humboldt-Park-Lagoon-1.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" title="Fishing in the Humboldt Park lagoon."></p><p>WBEZ is a media sponsor of One Book, One Chicago. You can see a full listing of related events <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/oboc/11f_augie/oboc_11f_greeting.php">here</a>.</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/finding-%E2%80%98augie-march%E2%80%99-saul-bellow%E2%80%99s-chicago-92283 Chicago Public Library selects ‘Augie March’ for ‘One Book’ http://www.wbez.org/content/chicago-public-library-selects-%E2%80%98augie-march%E2%80%99-%E2%80%98one-book%E2%80%99 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-18/Augie March cover_Flickr_Wolf Gang.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Public Library has chosen the next book for the city's "One Book, One Chicago" program: Saul Bellow's <em>The Adventures of Augie March</em>.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-18/book.jpg" style="width: 171px; height: 261px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="">The 10-year-old program encourages all Chicagoans to read the same book at the same time. The city then sponsors tours and discussions to accompany the reading. Previous selections have included classics like <em>To Kill a Mockingbird</em> by Harper Lee and <em>The Crucible</em> by Arthur Miller. Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls this selection "a quintessential Chicago novel."</p><p>The library notes that in <em>Augie March</em>, Nobel laureate Bellow depicts the 1920s and ‘30s Chicago of his childhood, “from the pool halls to the welfare lines, the downtown movie houses to the quiet parks.”</p><p>Programming around this selection will include a lecture from Chicago historian Dominic Pacyga, a walking tour inspired by locations in the novel and a discussion with Bellow's widow, Janis Freedman-Bellow.</p><p>There also will be a staged reading of book excerpts, creative writing workshops and poster design contest. In addition, WBEZ staff will facilitate book discussions at each of the station’s three Community Bureaus, and WBEZ’s Natalie Moore and Achy Obejas will take part in a program exploring “Chicago as muse” on October 13.</p><p>WBEZ is an official media sponsor of “One Book, One Chicago.” This media sponsorship is an extension of the 5-year-old partnership WBEZ’s parent company, Chicago Public Media, holds with Chicago Public Library.</p></p> Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/chicago-public-library-selects-%E2%80%98augie-march%E2%80%99-%E2%80%98one-book%E2%80%99