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KILLING IN THE NAME OF: Notes From the Chicago Indie Lit Scene

The questions are as follows: what makes for an indie lit scene, and does Chicago have one? The first person I ask is Zach Dodson from Featherproof publishing, because this is Chicago, and you sort of have to start with Featherproof.

In Conversation

SUSAN SHAPIRO with Nicolle Elizabeth

Susan Shapiro has written and published seven books in seven years. A professor, journalist, and author, she is credited with helping young authors to publish their own projects. Her most recent work, Overexposed, is a comic novel about careers, family, jealousy, and in its own way, (feminism and at times a lack thereof).

In Conversation

A NOBLE GESTURE How and Why We Read and Write: DAVID ULIN with Audrey Gray

It’s Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn when I call up David Ulin in L.A. It’s 10:00 a.m. his time. There are dogs and yard sounds on his end of the line. Ulin’s new book is titled The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time (Sasquatch Books, 2010).

Hushmoney Presents Rock Nostradamus: NICK KENT

Sometimes it’s easier to take the money. Reading nonfiction, especially this last decade, has already taught us that. In an age of social media where erudition can become entertainment and even pop culture can be weaponized, isn’t it safer to pay for play? Not Really.

Out From Under Don

In the preface to his first collection of short fiction, 14 Fictional Positions, Eric Miles Williamson tells us that the stories contained within ought not be considered mere exercises—though, he says, that’s exactly the function they’ve served.

Unfettered

Eugene Marten’s Firework is a terrifying house. This house has several levels, each of which demonstrates a unique strand of mastery in Marten’s composition style.

BEN MIROV'S Ghost Machine

It is impossible to talk about any one piece in Ben Mirov’s Ghost Machine—due for its second printing this November by CakeTrain Press—without talking about this impressive collection as a whole. The poetry paints a portrait of the artist at a hyper-specific moment in his life.

Hear No, See No, Read No Evil

David Bajo’s Panopticon is an ethereal, well-crafted, and quietly disturbing novel, a book that slices creepily through its characters’ pasts to uncover aspects of a technologically warped present that are equally riveting and unnerving because of their pervasiveness.

To Air Is Human

Jonas Woldemariam, the diffident and aloof Ethiopian-American narrator of Dinaw Mengestu’s How to Read the Air, was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, but is afflicted with the angst and uncertainty of a deracinated and perpetual migrant.

RAPID TRANSIT

At 44, Christian Wiman has an inside track on the subject of mortality—he has a terminal disease with an uncertain timeline.

A World to Lose

Jean Kwok’s debut novel is an immigration tale that reads like a Cinderella story for young adults. Girl in Translation hinges on a reversal of fortunes between a magical, handsome young prince and Kimberly Chang, the story’s protagonist. The suffering of Kimberly and her mother is beyond normal endurance, and the redemption that follows is not only hyperbolic, but also unbelievable.

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DEC 10-JAN 11

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