Fall Lit Preview 2012
Zadie Smith: “NW”
It’s been seven years since Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty” was released to outstanding critical reception. The novel won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The thirty-six-year-old London transplant, who teaches at Columbia University, will release her fourth novel, “NW,” this September, and if advanced reviews are any indication, Smith’s fans won’t be disappointed.
Publishes September 4
Emma Straub: “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures”
New York City native Emma Straub is having a better year than you. Her collection of short stories, “Other People We Married,” debuted to critical acclaim in February from Riverhead Books. Seven months later, she’s celebrating the release of her first novel, “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures,” also from Riverhead, and receiving advance praise from authors such as Lorrie Moore and Jennifer Egan, who are all in agreement: we can expect great things from Straub.
Publishes September 4
Newberry Library—125th Anniversary Exhibit Grand Opening
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Newberry Library will host an exhibit featuring 125 of the most incredible maps, manuscripts, photos and drawings in its collection. Included in the collection are a postcard from Kerouac to his editor and the journal Joseph Whitehouse kept during the Lewis and Clark Exhibition. Event is free.
September 6 at the Newberry Library
Julia Keller: Printers Row Live!
Former Tribune critic Julia Keller will discuss her recently released mystery novel, “A Killing in the Hills,” with Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor, as part of the Printers Row Live! event series, held in Tribune Tower.
September 7 at Tribune Tower
Junot Diaz – “This is How You Lose Her”
Diaz’s 2007 novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was included in more than thirty-five best-of-the-year lists. In his forthcoming collection of short stories, “This Is How You Lose Her,” Diaz explores love and the complexities of the human heart.
Publishes September 11
Michael Chabon: “Telegraph Avenue”
It’s been six years since Chabon’s last novel, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” which won several science fiction awards, including the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. “Telegraph Avenue,” out in September from Harper, is already receiving raves and contains Chabon’s trademark cast of idiosyncratic, complicated characters.
Publishes September 11
Irvine Welsh: “Skagboys”
Welsh’s 1993 novel “Trainspotting” launched his career and became a cult classic. In the years following its release, Welsh published many other novels and short story collections including, “The Acid House,” and “Esctasy,” and set out on a successful screenwriting and filmmaking career. This fall marks his return to Mark Renton. “Skagboys” is a prequel to “Trainspotting,” and Welsh, now a Chicagoan, will kick off the U.S. release with an event in his new hometown sponsored by Newcity.
September 12 at Smart Bar
Chicago Writers Conference
The Chicago Writers Conference debuts with an impressive roster of guest speakers and panelists, including Aleksandar Hemon, Megan Stielstra and Andrew Huff. The conference aims to “provide practical advice for writers to learn how to sell and promote their work.” Welcome to the scene, CWC.
September 14-16. Tickets, $200. All events held at Tribune Tower.
Poetry Magazine: “The Open Door”
To celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of Poetry, Don Share and Christian Wiman assembled this anthology of just one-hundred poems—a limitation that resulted in a juxtaposition of works diverse in theme, subject and style. Among the poets whose works appear are Charles Bukowski, Adrienne Rich and T. S. Eliot.
Publishes September 25
Nate Silver: “The Signal and the Noise”
Writer and creator of the FiveThirtyEight blog Nate Silver was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009. Most famously, Silver predicted the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election, and also developed a baseball performance prediction system called PECOTA. This fall, Silver will publish “The Signal and the Noise,” which explores the science behind prediction, plain good luck, and what we’re searching for in a world noisy with data.
Publishes September 27
Chris Ware: “Building Stories”
Although he’s been at work on a myriad of other projects, which included editing the thirteenth volume of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and “The Best American Comics” in 2007, it’s been more than a decade since Ware published his graphic novel, “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.” His newest, “Building Stories,” features the residents of a three-story Chicago apartment building, and with an artistic experiment that is sure to keep this novel at the forefront of fall’s biggest releases, allows the reader to determine the path of the story.
Publishes October 2
Emma Donoghue: “Astray”
Irish author Emma Donoghue stunned the literary world in 2010 with “Room,” a novel about a five-year-old boy who has never seen the world outside of the one room where he has always lived. It was named among the New York Times’ Best Books of the Year. “Astray,” out this October from Little, Brown and Company, is a collection of stories that spans four centuries and follows a handful of fascinating runaways, restless wanderers and drifters.
Publishes October 30
Chicago Humanities Festival
Now in its twenty-third year, The Chicago Humanities Festival has corralled a characteristically rich and diverse selection of panels, performances and lectures. Among the notable are a performance by poet Anne Waldman, a conversation between Dorothy Allison and Donna Seaman, and a reading with poet Joy Harjo.
October 14, 21 & November 1-11. Most events are free, some are ticketed. For complete schedule and pricing, see chicagohumanities.org.
Don DeLillo: 2012 Carl Sandburg Literary Award
To celebrate the 2012 Carl Sandburg Literary Award recipient Don DeLillo, Donna Seaman (Booklist) will join the author in conversation following a reading from his most recent work, “The Angel Esmeralda.” DeLillo is the author of sixteen novels as well as several short stories and plays, and the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, among many others. Event is free.
October 18 at the Harold Washington Library
Richard Ford: 2012 Heartland Prize
Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford will be awarded the 2012 Heartland Prize in conjunction with the Chicago Humanities Festival for his novel, “Canada,” which was released in May. “Canada” is the story of a young man named Dell who is forced to cross boundaries both moral and geographic, after his parents’ failed attempt at robbery. Ford teaches at Columbia University. Tickets, $15.
November 11 at the Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium
Elie Wiesel: Chicago Tribune Literary Prize
As part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Chicago Tribune will award Elie Wiesel the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for his widely heralded memoir “Night,” which chronicles his experiences in a Holocaust concentration camp. Wiesel will add this award to an illustrious and impressive list of many others, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US Congressional Gold Medal, the National Humanities Medal and the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. Tickets, $15.
November 11 at the Symphony Center Armour Stage
Louise Gluck: “Poems 1962-2012″
Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Gluck has authored more than fifteen books of poetry—enough that the release of her collection “Poems: 1962-2012” seems perfectly timed. The collection includes works both unpublished and widely recognized, and is proof of this poet’s staggering talent. Publishes November 13
Chicago Book Expo
The second annual Chicago Book Expo will be held in the historic Aragon Ballroom on December 2. Last year’s Expo, held at what was formerly Borders Books on North Broadway, featured local authors, zines and various publishing projects, and this year’s coordinators promise more of the same. Books and a ballroom? We’ll see you there. Free event.
December 2 at Aragon Ballroom