WBEZ | readings http://www.wbez.org/tags/readings Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Funny Ha-Ha: The Triumphant Return is tonight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/funny-ha-ha-triumphant-return-tonight-105660 <p><p>I am writing this post from the distant past. Will there be snow tonight? Did the storm miss us? It&#39;s really irrelevant because you are coming out tonight to the return of Chicago&#39;s favorite literary humor reading series!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FunnyHaHaTriumphant-Med.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Also, unrelated but still awesome, I conducted a Random Roles interview with <em>Freaks And Geeks</em>&#39; Linda Cardellini for the AV Club <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/linda-cardellini-freaks-and-geeks-er-voiceover,92761/#comment-807255736">which you may enjoy. </a></div></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 09:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/funny-ha-ha-triumphant-return-tonight-105660 A review of Ed Zulkey's paper "Thumbthing's Up" http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/review-ed-zulkeys-paper-thumbthings-105364 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4508040369_74d8fe5c51.jpg" style="float: right; height: 205px; width: 300px;" title="" /><span id="internal-source-marker_0.804553492378344">As you may know, I produce a literary reading series (</span><a href="http://www.zulkey.com/funnyhaha.php">Funny Ha-Ha, February 22</a>!), but I&rsquo;m not the only Zulkey who reads in public. My mom <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/2011/04/list_papers_in_descending_orde.php">presents papers at her very old and fancy book club</a> and Tuesday night I watched my dad present a piece he wrote on the American cultural history of hitchhiking through the lens of his own experience participating in this most adventurous mode of transportation. &nbsp;</div><p><br />Dad&rsquo;s paper was called &ldquo;Thumbthing&rsquo;s Up&rdquo; (har har) and he read it at the <a href="http://chicagoliteraryclub.blogspot.com/">Chicago Literary Club</a>. Whereas the Hideout, where I read, is a dive bar located near where the city stores the garbage trucks, the Literary Club met in the Skyline Club, a private club on the 24th floor of a building downtown. At the Hideout you can purchase tamales from a guy who comes in with a cooler. At the Skyline Club we were served a four-course meal. The median age at the Hideout Club is about 28 and at the Literary Club I think it&rsquo;s about 100 (just kidding.) Most importantly, alcohol is available at both.<br /><br />After dinner and drinks, we settled in to hear Mr. Zulkey read, which I was looking forward to since I knew he&rsquo;d been working on the paper for awhile and &nbsp;that it included a lot of his youthful adventures. I enjoyed my dad&rsquo;s piece, which glossed over hitchhiking in American books, TV and film and examined his own history of doing so, which raised many a question in my mind, including and more than once, &ldquo;Your parents let you do that?&rdquo; and &ldquo;And you lived after doing that?&rdquo; My favorite part is the end, where my dad talks about hitchhiking and getting picked up by a pretty lady whom he later married.<br /><br />In the end, I give Ed Zulkey reading at the Chicago Literary Club two thumbs up (get it? Let me know if you don&rsquo;t.)<br /><br />I am obviously incredibly unbiased when it comes to this review, but as they say on Reading Rainbow, <a href="http://chilit.org/Papers%20by%20author/Zulkey%20--%20Thumbthing%27s%20Up.htm">you don&rsquo;t have to take my word for it.</a></p></p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 08:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/review-ed-zulkeys-paper-thumbthings-105364 Events in the near and far future! http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/events-near-and-far-future-104336 <p><p>If you have no plans Wednesday night and want to learn all about the magical world of blogging, I will be chatting with beloved local bloggers <a href="http://www.dmitrysamarov.com/">Dmitry Samarov</a> and <a href="http://bentanzer.blogspot.com/">Ben Tanzer</a> tonight on a panel at Columbia College. I&#39;m psyched to hear what they say because <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/Claire-Zulkey-instr334.html">I am teaching a course on blogging in January</a> and think I need to pick up a few insights from the experts. Details are below:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/401762_10151292465844738_272715510_n.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Also! Mark your calendars, because the literary humor reading series I run, <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/funnyhaha.php">Funny Ha-Ha</a>, is returning in 2013! February 22 at the Hideout from 6:30-8 p.m. Details to come!</div></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/events-near-and-far-future-104336 A brief chat with author Jami Attenberg http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/brief-chat-author-jami-attenberg-103726 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jami%20Attenberg.jpg" style="height: 432px; width: 620px; " title="Jami Attenberg (Photo by Michael Sharkey)" /></div><p>Jami Attenberg is a writer pal of mine whom I interviewed <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/2008/01/1_there_is_some_sex.php">many moons ago</a>. However, now she has a new book, the fabulous and fabulously-reviewed <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Middlesteins-Novel-Jami-Attenberg/dp/1455507210">The Middlesteins</a>,&nbsp;</em>so I wanted to ask her a few new questions.<em>&nbsp;</em>Jami reads this Thursday November 8 at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bookcellarinc.com/event/jami-attenberg-middlesteins">The Book Cellar at 7 p.m.</a>, so come say hi, have a glass of wine and get your book signed!</p><p><strong>What made you decide to set <em>The Middlesteins</em> in the Chicagoland area as opposed to New York or any of the other places you&#39;ve lived?</strong><br />I remember reading <em>Olive Kitteridge</em>, which is such a wonderful book, and thinking I wanted to write something like that about the suburbs of Chicago &mdash; it felt like a very complete look at a particular place, and I wanted to do the same for where I grew up. It took another year or so before I actually sat down to write <em>The Middlesteins</em>, but as soon as I started working on it, they physical landscape felt very clear in my mind, even though I hadn&rsquo;t lived here in a long time.</p><p><strong>How did you come up with the name &quot;<em>The Middlesteins</em>&quot;? What (if any) other names did you consider?</strong><br />Initially, I wanted to call the book <em>Sprawl</em>, because I was thinking about the idea of suburban sprawl, and also this feeling of collapse and exhaustion. Maybe for the first month it was called that. <em>The Middlesteins</em>, to me, is a very obvious name. I can&rsquo;t really recall the moment I thought of it &mdash; I should search through my correspondence! But it was a moment of clarity, I do recall that. The book started out being about a place, but it is the people in the community that anchor it together.</p><p><strong>This book, your fourth novel, received a major push from your publisher. How do you think you&#39;d be affected if this was your first novel as opposed to your fourth? Has there been any downside to the additional attention? </strong><br />I don&rsquo;t know how I would have handled it had it been my first, but I suspect I appreciate it more now, especially since my books have not done particularly well in the past. I have a lot gratitude to everyone around me, the people at my publishing house, my agent, and the press that have given the book coverage &mdash; and to the people who are buying it. I have perspective; I know this can all go away in a second. People can be excited about you and your work one minute, and ignore you at a party a week later. In the end, you know who your friends are, and what matters the most is actually being able to do your work. I must admit along the way I have developed an exceptional bullsh*t radar.</p><div><p>And there is no downside to the additional attention, Claire. I&rsquo;m happy to have people reading my books!</p><p><strong>What do you always make sure to do when you&#39;re back home in Chicago?</strong><br />Can&rsquo;t wait to eat! I fantasize about the decadence. It&rsquo;s going to be either pizza or Hot Doug&rsquo;s. (Or both.)</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 12:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/brief-chat-author-jami-attenberg-103726