Books for the News, Chicago

Granta and 57th Street Books showcase 5 great books about Chicago

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Granta magazine‘s latest issue is all about our fair city of Chicago, featuring fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction and photography by a number of renown contributors, including Press authors like Nelson Algren, Stuart Dybek, Anne Winters, and Roger Ebert (for the online edition only). Demonstrating the city’s role beyond its reputation as “the hog butcher of the world” or the playground of famous gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger, Granta‘s Chicago edition focuses on the city, in acting editor John Freeman’s words, “as a microcosm for America” and “a nexus for world culture.”
To celebrate the launch of the issue Granta has canvassed some of the best local bookstores and asked them to provide a list of their five favorite books about Chicago. Currently the Granta website is showcasing the selections from 57th Street books. 57th Street’s five selections: The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon, Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago by Mike Royko, Division Street: America by Studs Terkel, as well as two recently published by the Press: Neil Harris’s The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age, and D. Bradford Hunt’s newly released Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing.
With The Chicagoan historian Neil Harris brings the Jazz Age magazine of its title back to life in the pages of his new book which features lavish full-color reproductions of the bi-weekly’s art-deco inspired covers and illustrations, as well as reprints of the fascinating editorials and reviews that ran in its pages almost a century ago. And in Blueprint for Disaster Hunt offers a unique perspective on the infamous failure of high rise government housing projects like Cabrini Green and the Robert Taylor Homes that challenges explanations attributing their decline to racial discrimination and real estate interests, arguing instead that Chicago’s public housing crisis was a failure of public planning.
See 57th Street Books’ list of five “Great Books about Chicago” and find out more about Granta‘s Chicago issue on the Granta website.
Also on the Press website:
Read an interview with the Neil harris, see a gallery of covers and illustrations from the magazine and sample pages in PDF (7.0Mb) from the book.