Seminary Co-op reveals the inner workings of “The Child”

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Last summer, the legendary Hyde Park Seminary Co-op Bookstores launched a new “web magazine” called The Front Table. Just like the stores themselves, the blog is eclectic, intellectual, and full of fascinating reads. One of our favorite features is “The Editors Speak,” a semi-regular look behind the scenes at what goes into the making of a book.
The Press’s editorial staff have contributed three times to the column, and, indeed, our own Rodney Powell inaugurated the series with his inside look at the genesis of Scorsese by Ebert. In the piece, Powell discusses his trepidation about contacting the great director, his admiration for the professionalism of the great critic, and his appreciation for the sometimes-overlooked contributions of our design staff. Executive Editor Christie Henry also wrote on her experience with Bigfoot—the book, not the imaginary beast. In her piece, she admits “the irony of a university press publishing a book on Bigfoot” but defends its very serious intentions.
Just this week, the Front Table published Mary Laur’s reflections on the herculean task of compiling the monumental The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. Ten years in the making and consisting of 570 articles, The Child is a logistical feat as well as a landmark resource for anyone who has, or once was, a child. After you read Laur’s account, check out the website for the book, and get lost in the world of The Child. Also, see a video from the U of C News Office of Richard Shweder, editor-in-chief of The Child, talking about the book and the process of its creation.