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Local Book Notes: Louder Than A Burge

For the third consecutive year, @kuumbalynx won Louder Than A Bomb. You can see why.


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The City Lost And Found
"American cities underwent seismic transformations in the 1960s and 1970s, from shifting demographics and political protests to reshaping through highways and urban renewal.

"Amid this climate of upheaval, photographers, architects, activists, performance artists, and filmmakers turned conditions of crisis into sites for civic discourse and artistic expression.

"A collaboration between the Art Institute of Chicago and the Princeton University Art Museum, The City Lost and Found explores photographic and cinematic responses to the changing fabric of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles that contributed to a reconsideration of cities in popular media and urban policy during this period.

"This exhibition and publication raise timely questions about the role of art within the social, political, and physical landscape of cities."

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The First Lady Of The Black Press
"Chicago's Ethel Payne was the third African-American journalist to be given White House press credentials. And in 1953, she was one of only two black women in the press corps.

"But her body of work over almost 40 years as a journalist is the true legacy of Ethel Payne. Her life story is captured in James McGrath Morris' biography, Eye on the Struggle."

"While unrecognized by many of the whites in the East Room, fifty-two-year-old Payne was an iconic figure to readers of the nation's black press. The granddaughter of slaves and the daughter of a Pullman porter, the South Side Chicago native at midlife had inspiringly traded in a monotonous career as a library clerk for one as a journalist at the Chicago Defender, the country's premier black newspaper. In a matter of a few years she had risen to become the nation's preeminent black female reporter of the civil rights era, and during the movement's seminal events in the 1950s it had been her words that had fed a national black readership hungry for stories that could not be found in the white media."

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Improbable Libraries
"Improbable Libraries is broken into seven chapters, including divisions for tiny, mobile and animal libraries. It also devotes space to postmodern makeshift library culture - art gallery-like pop-ups - dotted all over the globe. Some of them border on performance art or objets d'art. Johnson sees this as affirmation that 'librarians will always be at odds to bring books to readers.' This book presents myriad solutions and innovations that overcome those odds."

From the University of Chicago Press:

"Librarians are thinking up astonishing ways of reaching those in reading need, whether by bike in Chicago, boat in Laos, or donkey in Colombia. Improbable Libraries showcases a wide range of unforgettable, never-before-seen images and interviews with librarians who are overcoming geographic, economic, and political difficulties to bring the written word to an eager audience.

"Alex Johnson charts the changing face of library architecture, as temporary pop-ups rub shoulders with monumental brick-and-mortar structures, and many libraries expand their mission to function as true community centers.

"To take just one example: the open-air Garden Library in Tel Aviv, located in a park near the city's main bus station, supports asylum seekers and migrant workers with a stock of 3,500 volumes in sixteen different languages.

"Beautifully illustrated with two hundred and fifty color photographs, Improbable Libraries offers a breathtaking tour of the places that bring us together and provide education, entertainment, culture, and so much more. From the rise of the egalitarian Little Free Library movement to the growth in luxury hotel libraries, the communal book revolution means you'll never be far from the perfect next read."

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The Alphabet Of Distant Harbours
"The award-winning Guild Complex continues a new reading platform to foreground Asian/American authors and themes with 'The Alphabet of Distant Harbors' on Monday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, Garland Room (78 E Washington).

"Curated by Dipika Mukherjee, this spring program features Toni Nealie, Zhou Sivan, and Angela Narciso Torres, and will include an open mic. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

"Dipika Mukherjee states:

"'The Alphabet of Distant Harbours' will bring together writers who explore the suppression as well as expression of identity in the Asian diaspora.

"Zhou Sivan (also known as Nicholas Y. H. Wong) traces the secret lives of 'M' in his poems - Malacca, the Malay Archipelago, myth, Maeterlinck, mother and matter, marriage, Medusa, misanthropes and misbehaving - in exquisitely wrought poetry.

"Toni Nealie, who moved to Chicagoland from New Zealand, raises questions about the shame and fear suppressed through generations and how they continue to manifest in her thought-provoking creative nonfiction.

"Award-winning poet Angela Narciso Torres will read from her significant body of work to explore the varying degrees of elasticity in the distances between continents, families, lovers, memory and reality, waking and dreaming, while invoking her native Philippines and the various landscapes in which she has lived."

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on March 31, 2015


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