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A Reading By Nathaniel Rich

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A Reading By Nathaniel Rich


Chicago Public Radio and Stop Smiling magazine present an author reading by Nathaniel Rich from his celebrated debut novel, The Mayor’s Tongue (Riverhead Books). Brainy and playful, it has been lauded as “daring and wonderfully weird” by Interview magazine.

Nathaniel Rich is an editor at The Paris Review and the author of San Francisco Noir, a critical guide to noir films set in the foggy city by the bay.

The Mayor’s Tongue follows two New Yorkers in pursuit of missing acquaintances in Italy: Young scholar Eugene Brentani departs to track down the lovely but mysteriously missing daughter of his friend and mentor. Meanwhile, widower Mr. Schmitz embarks on a quest to find a fellow WWII veteran whose recent correspondences have proven worrisome. And lurking in the background is Constance Eakins, a brilliant, perverse and even monstrous writer and adventurer, who is living in hiding in the mountainous borderland between Italy and Slovenia. A feat of postmodern storytelling, the tale reveals a love of literature itself and points the way to Nathaniel Rich’s “promise as a fiction writer” says the New York Times Book Review.

A talkback with Jonathan Messinger, Books Editor of Time Out Chicago and co-publisher of Featherproof Books, follows the reading. They also explore an exhibition of the many book covers that have been designed for the novels of Constance Eakins. Rich is on a quest to assemble an exhaustive collection of Eakin’s book covers, many of which are now on display at his website.

About Stop Smiling and the Stop Smiling Literary Series
Just over a year ago, Chicago’s Stop Smiling magazine launched a unique new Literary Series where format was different, the audience was younger, the venue was intimate, and the energy was undeniable. Usually hosted at the magazine’s Wicker Park Storefront, the Stop Smiling Literary Series continues this Fall with this collaborating event.

Stop Smiling is perhaps best described as a magazine that “pinch[es] a little of its interview philosophy from the Charlie Rose program and a tad from The Paris Review. Like the Rose show, it surrenders to its subject a platform for their views. Like The Paris Review, it doesn’t interrogate as much as it encourages subjects to talk about their work, their methods, and their muses.” [Slate, September 2006]

Chicago Public Radio was pleased to produce this special event as part of the Chicago Public Radio Presents live event series.


Recorded Sunday, October 19, 2008 at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.

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