| Sep 26, 2012
| 7:24 AM
If you were building a Chris Ware, if you were constructing the most celebrated cartoonist of the past couple of decades, drawing up the plans for an Oak Park illustrator so routinely referred to as a genius that the accolade is more like fact than...
| Sep 21, 2012
| 4:20 PM
As a devoted fan of this series (this is the 11th volume), I can report that this year's anthology of 32 selections might be the best yet. High school students from 826Michigan and 826 Valencia, parts of Dave Eggers' network of nonprofit writing and...
| Aug 5, 2012
Syria, a great and ancient land, is being ravaged by civil war, with government forces using heavy weapons against rebels in the major city of Aleppo. Here are some facts about a little-understood people and country:
1 Syria is commonly considered a...
| Dec 27, 2012
| 8:01 AM
For a fellow who's just been promoted to vice president of land management by his multibillion-dollar natural gas company, the character played by Matt Damon in "Promised Land" is awfully wussy. He turns into a puddle whenever he's bested by the...
| Nov 11, 2012
A few years after stepping away from her professional life to focus on raising her two daughters, Liz Cicchelli itched to sink her teeth into something beyond volunteering at her kids' school.
She found something way beyond.
Invited by a friend to the...
| Nov 15, 2012
| 8:00 AM
Novelist Louise Erdrich and journalist Katherine Boo took the top prizes at the National Book Awards in New York on Wednesday night. Although set half a world apart, both women's books express what Boo described as "small stories in so-called hidden...
| Oct 5, 2012
| 1:48 PM
"A short story must be, by definition, short. That's the trouble with short stories. That's why they're so difficult to write. How do you keep a narrative brief and still have it function as a story?"
That's what Jeffrey Eugenides writes in his...
| Oct 26, 2012
| 3:15 PM
Atrocity in Cambodia. Devastation in New Orleans. Revolution in the Middle East. The Chicago office of Human Rights Watch recently started a book club to get people to engage in discussion about places and countries such as these where the international...
| Apr 29, 2012
Never Fall Down
Balzer + Bray: 224 pp., $17.99, ages 14 and up
When it comes to genocide, Hitler is obviously well covered. There are countless titles for young readers about the...
| Jun 17, 2012
A Hologram for the King
McSweeney's: 328 pp., $25
More than any other writer of his generation, Dave Eggers is a brand. The 42-year-old author is accomplished in many fields — he's...
| Jan 30, 2011
While Mortals Sleep
Unpublished Short Fiction
Kurt Vonnegut, foreword by Dave Eggers
Delacorte: 272 pp., $27
It was in the 1950s that Kurt Vonnegut, then in his early 30s, quit his job as a publicity man for the research department of General Electric...