Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Gabriel Garcia Marquez, revered Latin American author, dies at 87 ]]> Lead story image

The Nobel laureate and author of “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude” was the best-known practitioner of “magical realism,” a blending of fantastic elements into portrayals of daily life that made the extraordinary seem almost routine. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:44:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ The Sitdown: Neal Samors, on writing about the Chicago River ]]> Lead story image

Chicago native and Buffalo Grove resident Neal Samors has carved a special niche in regional publishing — authoring, co-authoring and independently publishing 23 books about Chicago and its diverse neighborhoods — ranging from Downtown, Lake Shore Drive, Rogers Park and now his latest: “Chicago’s River At Work and at Play,” co-authored with photographer and journalist Steven Dahlman. In researching the Chicago River book I learned it really was a working river in the 19th century. Little by little, I came to realize people figured out the river provided multiple capabilities for the people of Chicago. Basically, growing up in Chicago, … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:31:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mavis Staples biography reveals how her music reflects her father and an era ]]> Lead story image

Greg Kot’s “I’ll Take You There” is just as much about her father and mentor, Roebuck “Pops” Staples. ]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 06:10:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Writer-environmentalist Peter Matthiessen dead at 86 ]]> Lead story image

Peter Matthiessen, a rich man’s son who spurned a life of leisure and embarked on extraordinary physical and spiritual quests while producing such acclaimed books as “The Snow Leopard” and “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” died Saturday. He was 86. Matthiessen, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, was ill “for some months” and died at a hospital near his home on Long Island, N.Y. ]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 23:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teen’s cookbook mixes in environmental issues ]]> Lead story image

Emily Abrams of Highland Park is interested in environmental issues and sustainability, while the regarded chef Gabriel Viti (Miramar Bistro, Gabriel’s) is interested in food. They teamed up for the new “Don’t Cook the Planet” cookbook featuring A-List celebrities’ recipes. ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:17:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Did Chicago peak in 1893? Local author to make his case ]]> Lead story image

Emmy award-winning author and historian Joseph Gustaitis will discuss the Chicago World’s Fair and other significant achievements explored in his book, “Chicago’s Greatest Year, 1893.” ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:16:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ A book recalls the loud legacy of Chicago’s Jesus Lizard ]]> Lead story image

Sifting through photos of the noise rockers’ past “brought back all the feelings of that time,” says drummer Mac McNeilly. ]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:55:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The Office’ actor puts his stories on paper ]]> Lead story image

It was a ‘crazy’ idea, but B.J. Novak did it anyway: a book of short stories ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 06:28:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rachel Louise Snyder sets debut novel in Oak Park ]]>

As a successful journalist who has reported from around the world, narrative non-fiction has always been Rachel Louise Snyder’s calling card. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn she has an MFA in fiction from Emerson College where high caliber writers Tim O’Brien and Andre Dubus III mentored her. “Yes, I had no journalism training,” Snyder admits, with a laugh. “But I think fiction and journalism can tell the same story in different ways. Fiction opens up moral conversations that are uncomfortable in real life and journalism has the power to get at the bigger story.” … ]]> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 14:24:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Page Turners — The best books we read in 2013 ]]> Lead story image

There’s nothing like a good book to tickle our imaginations, invite passionate conversation and debate, take us to places far away, inform and elighten us, and frankly just take us away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Our writers and editors were busy turning many a page in 2013. Here are some highlights from our literary journeys: “The Goldfinch,” by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown; 784 pages) Donna Tartt’s 784-page novel has been described as everything from Dickensian to Proustian, with a bit of latter-day “Catcher in the Rye” in the mix as well. A bit of all of … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:47:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Songs about bathrooms, and other Chicago creations in the age of industrial musicals ]]> Lead story image

A key songwriter in the field of musicals for corporate events was Sid Siegel, who penned ‘The Bathrooms Are Coming!” and other works meant to get salesmen “all worked up.” ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:42:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ The ‘people’s poet’ ]]> Lead story image

A decade ago this month, Kevin Stein was chosen for a daunting task: following two Pulitzer Prize winners, Gwendolyn Brooks and Carl Sandburg, as the poet laureate of Illinois. Ten years later, the Bradley University professor has put his own signature on a position that is unpaid but considered crucial to widening appreciation for the art form. He has created a state poetry website and donates money out of his own pocket to buy poetry books for libraries across the state. “I’m a different writer, I’m a different teacher, I’m a different person thinking about poetry than I was 10 … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:50:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ The year’s top book picks for young readers ]]> Lead story image

Bookstore and library experts suggest titles to give this season. ]]> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 06:03:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Evanston writer Kat Falls enters world of young-adult hero novels ]]> Lead story image

The first of what promises to be an intriguing trilogy, “Inhuman” by Kat Falls is set in an America ravaged by a virus that mutates humans into “manimals.” ]]> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 06:03:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Authors selling books — literally — on Saturday ]]> Lead story image

Best-selling novelist Wally Lamb, a two-time Oprah Book Club pick, has signed thousands of copies of his books. But he’s never sold one, at least the way booksellers do. That will change Saturday, when Lamb and more than 1,000 other authors become volunteer booksellers for a day at more than 400 independent bookstores across the country. It’s part of Small Business Saturday, which began three years ago as way to support local businesses in an age of online shopping and national chains. This year, author Sherman Alexie added a literary twist he dubbed “Indies First.” In an open letter to … ]]> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:04:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Malcolm X heirs seek to block diary publication ]]> Lead story image

Heirs of Malcolm X have gone to court to stop a Chicago company from publishing a diary of the activist leader’s last year. They say in papers filed in Manhattan federal court that Third World Press does not have the right to publish “The Diary of Malcolm X.” ]]> Sat, 09 Nov 2013 17:08:00 -0500