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Local Book Notes: Outlaws And Angry Cores

1. Angry Core, Slow Burn.

"Finally, more than 10 years after Dela Pava began writing his novel, a publishing insider got in touch. Levi Stahl was publicity manager at University of Chicago Press. In 2010 he was also, in his spare time, poetry reviews editor at the Quarterly Conversation, an online literary magazine. Stahl got hold of A Naked Singularity after it was flagged up by a contributor, and was impressed," Susanna Rustin writes for the Guardian.

"He took it to an editor who agreed that although, as an academic publisher, University of Chicago does not publish new fiction, it should make an offer for this book.

"In 2012 De La Pava's slow-burn, word-of-mouth novel won the PEN/Robert W Bingham prize for the best debut novel of the year.

"In 2013 University of Chicago published De La Pava's follow-up, the fragmentary and experimental Personae, much of which is made up of the imaginative writings of a character who has died alone, aged 111, in his Manhattan flat."

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This is a pretty remarkable story, though not entirely new; click through and read the whole thing.

2. Danny Lyon's Chicago Outlaws.

"First released in 1968, a year before Easy Rider, Danny Lyon's seminal photo-book The Bikeriders' ushered in a new kind of photographic reportage and created a space for the diaristic work of Larry Clark and Nan Goldin some years later," Kerim Aytac writes for ArtLyst.

"Raised a respectable middle-class young man, Danny Lyon decided to join the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club in 1963, only 23 years old. He would spend the next four years documenting the lives and loves of this group of outlaws on the fringes of American society.

"Lyon soon after became a Magnum photographer, but was rarely as intimate (at least from what I've seen) with a subject or story as he was here. He became the subject. The exhibition at Atlas gallery presents 40 or so of the photographs, framed and matted in the classic style that would befit silver work of this vintage, but not the immediacy and engagement of the images themselves. Many of the photographs are taken from moving motorcycle, with the subjects either hunched over in speed, or peering back as if trying to outrun conformity itself."

3. Northwestern vs. Barrett.

"A Northwestern University employee assigned to write a book about the notorious 1924 murder of a 14-year-old boy by two University of Chicago law students is being sued by the school for taking restricted files," the Sun-Times reported last month.

"Nina Barrett was assigned to write a book on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb - two wealthy students who murdered Bobby Franks in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

"The north suburban university hired Barrett to write the book in 2009 after she curated a successful exhibit about the murder for the school. She left the school in December 2013 and did not return any of her files or research materials, according to the suit."

Barrett would not comment on the suit.

4. Walk This Way.

"Matthew Algeo's Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport (Chicago Review) is one of those books which open up a forgotten world so fully that at first the reader wonders, just a little, if his leg is being pulled," Adam Gopnik writes for the New Yorker.

"How could there be an account this elaborate - illustrated with sober handbills, blaring headlines, starchy portrait photographs, and racy newspaper cartoons - of an enthusiasm this unknown? But it all happened. For several decades in the later nineteenth century, the favorite spectator sport in America was watching people walk in circles inside big buildings."

5. #Ferguson.

"The ratchet [also] contributes to an exaggerated general perception in the public imagination and among police officers of an association between being African American and being a criminal."

6. Integration Engineer.

"In June, [TJ] Jarrett had poems published in Poetry Magazine and The Virginia Quarterly Review," Win Bassett writes for the Atlantic.

"In approximately three months, her second poetry collection, Zion (winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2013), will be published by Southern Illinois University Press. She's managed to accomplish all of this while also serving as a senior poetry editor of Tupelo Quarterly - and while working as a Senior Integration Engineer at HealthTrust in Nashville."

Click through for the Q&A on how that works.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on August 27, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - An Odd Call From Bermuda.
SPORTS - All Is Not Forgiven, Bears.

BOOKS - Turning Points Of The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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