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  • An October Sort of City:
    Chicago Authors
    Talk Chicago
  • A Collaboration with Chicago Public Radio
  • 10.22.2009
    7:00 p.m
    The Heartland Cafe
    7000 N Glenwood Ave
    Chicago, IL 60626

sponsored by:

  • Chicago Public Radio
  • Goose Island Beer

"Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring." — Nelson Algren, from Chicago: City on the Make

On October 22, STOP SMILNG and Chicago Public Radio presented a showcase featuring four Chicago authors who spoke about the city and its effect on their lives and work. Authors Joe Meno, Deb Olin Unferth, Cristina Henríquez and Eula Biss read from Chicago-inspired narratives, all of which illuminated the various ways the city and its writers interact.

Chicago Public Radio producers programed the event from snippets of each author's work, which they intertwined into a script. The four unrelated narratives, when read in a round-robin, began to play off each other in unusual and surprising ways.

Alison Cuddy, co-host of Eight-Forty-Eight, moderated a Q&A afterward.

Each attendee took home a gift bag with assorted goods, including a signed copy of one of the four authors' books, plus STOP SMILING and Chicago Public Radio giveaways.



LISTEN to Deb Olin Unferth read a short piece she composed for the event about being a writer in Chicago

READ excerpts by each of the event's authors at STOP SMILING Online:

From Deb Olin Unferth's novel
Vacation (McSweeney's)

From Eula Biss' book of essays
Notes From No Man's Land (Graywolf Press)

From Joe Meno's short story collection
Tender as Hellfire
(Akashic Books)

From Cristina Henríquez's novel
The World in Half (Riverhead)

LOOK at more photos from the event


A special thanks to all at Chicago Public Radio -- Breeze Richardson and Don Hall in particular; the famed Heartland Cafe, where the event took place; our kind beer sponsor, the Goose Island Brewing Company; all the authors, for their participation; and, especially, everyone who attended this sold-out event. 

photography by:
Akasha Rabut (portraits) and Jerry Schulman

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