WBEZ | Chicago writing http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-writing Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en What is the ultimate Chicago book? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-ultimate-chicago-book-107060 <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/Mosaic.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p dir="ltr">Curious Citizen <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/473">Pavel Gigov asked a question</a> a few months ago that might have been answered in Rachel Shteir&#39;s recent <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/books/review/the-third-coast-by-thomas-dyja-and-more.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">New York Times Book Review article</a>. Pavel wants to know which single book could teach him the most about Chicago. In Shteir&#39;s infamous review of three recent books about Chicago, she gave short shrift to the city&#39;s literary context, instead focusing on myriad problems plaguing &quot;Poor Chicago.&quot; Nearly three weeks out and, with our collective ire down to simmering, now is as good a time as any to answer Pavel&#39;s question.</p><p>To start off, we reached out to someone who&rsquo;s at least familiar with the theme: Annie Tully, who directs the <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/onebook_onechgo.php" target="_blank">One Book, One Chicago</a> program at the Chicago Public Library. After huddling with library staff and consulting their <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/list/read/id/43/" target="_blank">master</a> <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/list/read/id/31/" target="_blank">lists</a>, she sent us a list of titles that could potentially fit the bill for Pavel. That list, produced below, includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children&#39;s literature and graphic novels. While <em>The Encyclopedia of Chicago</em> contains a lot of facts about the city, <em>Chicago Poems</em> by Carl Sandberg may convey more essential truths. Could Gwendolyn Brooks&rsquo; <em>Bronzeville Boys and Girls</em> be more instructive than Mike Royko&#39;s early columns?</p><p dir="ltr">Of course we can&#39;t settle on one book to define Chicago, because there are as many &ldquo;Chicagos&rdquo; as there are Chicagoans. Rachel Shteir would certainly have a different choice (<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/books/review/up-front.html?_r=0" target="_blank">possibly <em>Sister Carrie</em></a>)<em> </em>than <a href="http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2013/04/steinberg-v-the-new-york-times-.html" target="_blank">Neil Steinberg</a>. But that just means we get to have a conversation about our choices and hopefully understand more about the vast array of different Chicagos.</p><p>So please choose a book from this list that best explains Chicago as you understand it. If your choice isn&#39;t listed, please add it. Maybe Rick Kogan&#39;s <em>Dr. Night Life </em>should be included, who knows? We&#39;ll talk about the top five books next Monday on <em>Morning Shift</em>.</p><script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://static.polldaddy.com/p/7085758.js"></script><noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7085758/">If there was one book that one should purchase in order to learn the most about Chicago, which one would it be?</a></noscript><p dir="ltr"><em>Andrew Gill is a WBEZ web producer. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/andrewgill">@andrewgill.</a></em></p></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 14:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-ultimate-chicago-book-107060