Chicago

Royko in Love on FOX Chicago News

September 2, 2010
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As promised yesterday, here is David Royko’s appearance last night on FOX Chicago News talking about Royko in Love: Mike’s Letters to Carol: . . .

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CMOS 16 in the News

September 1, 2010
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CMOS 16 in the News

The reviews are in, and they’re all raves! One day after the official publication date of The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, the Chicago Tribune weighed in with a feature-length story about the new edition and the readers who love it. Steve Johnson, the Tribune‘s pop culture critic, writes: Bound, famously, in orange and thicker with each new edition, the 104-year-old reference classic has kept watch over the publication of hundreds of great books and thousands of not-so-great ones, an arbiter and aide-de-camp for editors trying to decide how to handle items in a list, punctuation within quotes or, these days, the proper hexadecimal code for the German double low-9 quotation mark (201E, as you probably suspected). The Tribune article also quotes Wendy McClure, an author and editor at Albert Whitman & Company: “I love that big, crazy, orange book.… It’s what I’ve turned to when I’m unsure about something when I’m proofreading. But also, when you have your first publishing job and are trying to figure out how this all works, you’ve got this whole big book you can plunge into.” The New York Times Paper Cuts blog chimed in with a “usage geek’s” take on what’s new . . .

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Royko on TV

September 1, 2010
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Royko on TV

Royko in Love: Mike’s Letters to Carol, the newest edition to the Press’s collection of works by the award winning journalist, offers a rare look into the personal life of one of Chicago’s most beloved public icons. Through his writing Royko made a reputation for himself as the prototypical hard-nosed Chicago journalist—tough, funny, acerbic, yet eloquent enough to win a Pulitzer Prize. But in Royko in Love we see another side, both sensitive and vulnerable and passionately consumed with wooing his childhood sweetheart, Carol Duckman. Royko in Love was collected and edited by Royko’s son, David Royko and over the next few days he will be making several TV appearances speak about the book and offer further insights into his father’s life and career. Tonight you can catch David Royko on Fox Chicago News at 9:00 pm, tomorrow on ABC 7 Chicago News at 4:00 pm, and next week on the Tuesday edition of WTTW’s Chicago Tonight and Thursday September 29 on WGN’s Midday News. We’ll also post the video online as it becomes available. See also, photos of Mike and Carol Royko, with commentary by David Royko. . . .

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Chimpanzees Do Not Make Good Pets

August 26, 2010
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Chimpanzees Do Not Make Good Pets

Most pets in the US either bark or meow—Americans own more than seventy-seven million dogs and ninety-three million cats. But how many chimpanzees are kept at home as pets? It’s a question that, until now, had no easy answer. But thanks to the pioneering work of Lincoln Park Zoo scientist Steve Ross, we now have a figure: about 113. And, if Ross, has his way, that number will dwindle to zero. Today’s Chicago Tribune reports on Ross’s mission to change the way people view these primates and their (un)suitability as pets. His organization, Project ChimpCARE, hopes “to locate every chimpanzee in North America and assess its level of care.” For Ross, the ChimpCARE project is about protecting chimps and people from a dangerous public misperception that chimps are safe, people-friendly animals, which makes him opposed in particular to using chimps as actors. Chimps seen on screen are babies or prepubescent youngsters, never adults, Ross said. When they reach puberty, they become dangerously unpredictable and aggressive, a tendency that resulted in tragedy last year when one retired chimp attacked and severely injured a woman in Connecticut. And Ross should know a thing of two about chimpanzees. After all, he coedited our . . .

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Alex Kotlowitz reviews The Wagon

July 9, 2010
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Alex Kotlowitz reviews The Wagon

A recent review of Martin Preib’s The Wagon and Other Stories from the City for barnesandnoblereview.com begins by citing the some of the recent media coverage involving the Chicago Police Department—from the conviction of former commander Jon Burge “for lying about having tortured scores of suspects over a twenty-year period in the 1970s and ’80s,” to the recent death of officer Thomas Wortham IV, shot as a gang of thugs tried to steal his motorcycle, and, of course, the re-escalation of homicides in the city. The review continues: Martin Preib’s The Wagon and Other Stories from the City is a welcome, albeit at times maddening, effort to fashion a narrative that reflects the reality of this messy, yet vital American city. Preib has been a Chicago cop for eight years, but he’s not defined by his police work. He greatly admires Walt Whitman and William Kennedy, writers who despite having seen the worst in mankind were (in the case of Kennedy, still is) capable of maintaining a faith—admittedly quivering at times—in the human spirit. Before his police work, Preib worked as a doorman at a downtown hotel, and there witnessed the grueling and often humiliating labor of those in the . . .

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Swimming in the Chicago River? Da Mare says it’s not likely

June 4, 2010
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Swimming in the Chicago River? Da Mare says it’s not likely

On Tuesday, news broke that the Obama administration had written a letter in April to the Illinois Pollution Control Board calling for efforts to make the Chicago River safe for swimming. Mayor Daley responded, with his characteristic verbal finesse, advising the feds to “go swim in the Potomac.” By Thursday, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the official body who oversees the river, chimed in, claiming, according to the Chicago Tribune, that “making the Chicago River safe enough for swimming would waste taxpayer money and put children at risk of drowning.” The MWRD also said “the river has been altered so dramatically that new efforts to improve water quality would not be worth the costs.” In addition to being dyed green every year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (an effect achieved using orange dye), the Chicago River is most famous for having had its flow reversed in the nineteenth century (the river now runs away from the lake). But has the waterway been changed too much to make it healthy for swimming? The debate seems to have stopped at da Mare’s door, but if you are curious to read more about the river, we recommend paging through David M. Solzman’s The . . .

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The Wagon in the Wall Street Journal

May 12, 2010
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The Wagon in the Wall Street Journal

A new review of Martin Prieb’s The Wagon and Other Stories from the City that ran in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal begins: Police thrillers are so widely read and police dramas so commonplace on television that many people think they have a good understanding of what a cop’s world is like. But in truth that world is seldom revealed with anything approaching verisimilitude. We get it with “The Wagon.” Commenting on the first story in the collection the review continues: As with police work itself, the book is only sporadically about gunfights, car chases and collaring criminals. Any television show that depicted the tedium of a police officer’s typical day wouldn’t draw much of an audience. In truth, most cops go through their entire careers without firing their weapon except on the practice range, but almost all of them are sooner or later called to deal with a dead body. Every cop, no matter how many he has encountered since, remembers his first one. But few cops are able to describe that rite of passage as convincingly as Mr. Preib does in “Body Bags.” And if won’t take the WSJ‘s word for it you can see for yourself by navigating . . .

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Press Release: Preib, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

May 4, 2010
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Press Release: Preib, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

Martin Preib is an officer in the Chicago Police Department—a beat cop whose first assignment as a rookie policeman was working on the wagon that picks up the dead. Over the course of countless hours driving the wagon through the city streets, claiming corpses and taking them to the morgue, arresting drunks and criminals and hauling them to jail, Preib took pen to paper to record his experiences. Inspired by Preib’s daily life as a policeman, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City chronicles the outer and inner lives of both a Chicago cop and the city itself. The book follows Preib as he transports body bags, forges a connection with his female partner, trains a younger officer, and finds himself among people long forgotten—or rendered invisible—by the rest of society. Preib recounts how he navigates the tenuous labyrinths of race and class in the urban metropolis, including a domestic disturbance call involving a gang member and his abused girlfriend and a run-in with a group of drunk yuppies. Preib’s accounts, all told in his breathtaking prose, range from noir-like reports of police work to streetwise meditations on life and darkly humorous accounts of other jobs in the city’s . . .

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Press Release: Gibbons, Slow Trains Overhead

April 29, 2010
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Press Release: Gibbons, Slow Trains Overhead

Few people writing today could successfully combine an intimate knowledge of Chicago with a poet’s eye, and capture what it’s really like to live in this remarkable city. Embracing a striking variety of human experience—a chance encounter with a veteran on Belmont Avenue, the grimy majesty of the downtown L tracks, domestic violence in a North Side brownstone, the wide-eyed wonder of new arrivals at O’Hare, and much more—these new and selected poems and stories by Reginald Gibbons celebrate the heady mix of elation and despair that is city life. With Slow Trains Overhead, he has rendered a living portrait of Chicago as luminously detailed and powerful as those of Nelson Algren and Carl Sandburg. Gibbons takes the reader from museums and neighborhood life to tense proceedings in Juvenile Court, from comically noir-tinged scenes at a store on Clark Street to midnight immigrants at a gas station on Western Avenue, and from a child’s piggybank to nature in urban spaces. For Gibbons, the city’s people, places, and historical reverberations are a compelling human array of the everyday and the extraordinary, of poverty and beauty, of the experience of being one among many. Penned by one of its most prominent writers, . . .

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Martin Preib in the Chicago Tribune

April 27, 2010
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Martin Preib in the Chicago Tribune

Last Saturday’s edition of the Chicago Tribune ran a review of Martin Preib’s The Wagon and Other Stories from the City. With most of its content gleaned from a recent interview with Preib, the review offers some interesting background on the experiences that have inspired his writing, including his work with the Chicago Police Department and in various other capacities within Chicago’s service industry. You can read it read it online at the Printers Row blog (Preib is also scheduled to appear at the Printers Row Lit Fest June 12 and 13). Also, read a story from the book: “Body Bags” and listen to Preib discussing his work on the Chicago Audio Works podcast. . . .

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