On Wednesday, December 6, Oak Park journalist Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi visits EPL to discuss her riveting new book Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago , and you’ll want to make sure you’re in the crowd. Praised by the NY Times, NPR, and Ms. Magazine, Ugly Prey tells the sensational story of Sabella Nitti – an Italian immigrant who in 1923 was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to hang for the murder of her missing husband based primarily on her appearance. Both a page-turning courtroom drama and a “thought-provoking look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, class, and the American justice system,” Lucchesi’s book was described by Library Journal as a must-read for historical true crime lovers. Make sure to register to guarantee your seat at this special author event, and in the meantime, don’t miss Lucchesi discussing Ugly Prey with with WTTW’s Phil Ponce on Chicago Tonight.
Evanston native Jeffrey Gettleman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has served as the NY Times’ East Africa bureau chief for the past decade, and on Tuesday, July 25 he’ll visit EPL to discuss his excellent new book Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival. Passionate, eye-opening, and sometimes horrifying, Gettleman’s debut details how he found both love and a calling while reporting from Uganda, Sudan, Congo, and Kenya. Recounting the dangers of documenting Somali pirates, war in Iraq and Western-backed rebels along with the twists of a long-distance courtship with his future wife, Love, Africa has been lauded by Booklist as “an absolute must-read.” Make sure to register to guarantee your seat at this special author event, and in the meantime, don’t miss this great clip of Gettleman discussing his motivation for writing Love, Africa. See you July 25!
Tim Jackson knows a thing or two about cartoons. A syndicated editorial cartoonist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune, Cincinnati Herald, and many other newspapers, Jackson recently became a cartoon historian with the publication of his book Pioneering Cartoonists of Color. Praised as “an unprecedented look at the rich yet largely untold story of African-American cartoon artists,” the Ohio native’s book provides a historical account of the black men and women who created editorial cartoons, illustrations, and 70-plus comic strips from the 1880’s to 1968. On February 27 Jackson visited EPL to discuss Pioneering Cartoonists of Color, and as an encore, he spoke with us via email about his motivation to write the book, his painstaking research, and the cartoonist Morrie Turner.
Evanston Public Library: Can you tell us a little about your background as a cartoonist? How long have you been drawing?
Tim Jackson: I always respond to questions about how long I’ve been drawing by answering, “Forever.” There is one piece of art that is dated, making me seven years old around the time it was given as a gift to my grandmother. My first inspiration would have to be my older brother. I watched him draw and imitated him.
EPL: What motivated you to write Pioneering Cartoonists of Color? When did you first have the idea for the book?
TJ: I was motivated by the lack of information available about Black cartoonists in other books about cartoonists. It became more important when I learned that there was going to be a celebration of 100 years of American cartoonists. I created a website about Black cartoonists and illustrators so it could not be said there was no information about African-American cartoonists.
EPL: Could you give us a sense of the research that was required to write the book? Where did you track down the cartoons from the 19th and early 20th centuries? Did you uncover anything surprising?
TJ: I spent hours upon hours searching through microfilm and digital databases to glean whatever information there was to be found. My greatest source of comics and cartoons was the Vivian G. Harsh Collection in the Carter G. Woodson Library on 95th & Halsted. My greatest discovery was the sheer number of Black cartoonists there have been from the 1880s through 1968.
EPL: Who are a few of the cartoonists from the book who made an impression on you? Why is it important for us to know about them?
TJ: One of the artists that made an impression on me was Morrie Turner (1923-2014), creator of the first integrated comic strip “Wee Pals.” Turner was one of the three African-American cartoonists who were accepted in the mainstream press following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
EPL: Can you suggest additional books or resources for those interested in learning more about African-American cartoonists?
TJ: Two additional books are Jackie Ormes: The First African American Women Cartoonist by Nancy Goldstein and Dark Laughter: Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington edited by M. Thomas Inge.
Interview by Russell J.
Maya Schenwar is Editor-in-Chief of Truthout – an independent social justice news website – and the author of the recent book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. On Monday, March 7th, she will discuss her book when she visits EPL as part of the special program Unlocking America: How to Change Our Broken Prison System. Cosponsored by Chicago Books to Women in Prison and Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the program will also feature Dr. Crystal T. Laura who joins Schenwar to explore the impact of prison on families and advocate for a sweeping overhaul of our criminal justice system. In anticipation of this important discussion, we recently spoke with Schenwar via email about how her sister’s incarceration inspired her activism, the goal of “decarceration,” the crucial work of community groups like Curt’s Cafe, and how to achieve true lasting safety.
You’re invited to join us Saturday, October 22, 2:00 – 3:30pm, for a panel of four local mystery and suspense authors. David Heinzmann, Michael Dymmoch, Luisa Buehler, and Diane Piron-Gelman (pen name: D. M. Pirrone) will discuss their writing process, inspiration, and recent projects. A paperback exchange and book sale will follow. Refreshments will be served. Registration is not required. Community Meeting Room (1st floor). Questions? Contact Genevieve Guran at 847-448-8618.
Author Erik Larson will be appearing at three locations in the Chicago area tomorrow and Tuesday. His latest work is “In the Garden of Beasts,” about an American family taking a year abroad during the Nazi era (see review of book). I recommend checking the first link for other upcoming author visits. Keep an eye out for Steve Berry and Justin Cronin.
David Remnick will discuss aspects of his latest publication, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, at Chicago’s Harold Washington Public Library. Remnick is an editor at The New Yorker, and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire.
Random House – Authors | Author Events David Remnick: CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY 400 S STATE ST … Chicago, IL 60611 312.799.5317 4/15/2010.
One Book, One Chicago
Inaugurated in the fall of 2001, the One Book, One Chicago program is launched each spring and fall to cultivate a culture of reading and discussion in Chicago by bringing our diverse city together around one great book.
Reading great literature provokes us to think about ourselves, our environment and our relationships. Talking about great literature with friends, families and neighbors often adds richness and depth to the experience of reading.
Selected Spring 2010Brooklyn byColm Tóibín
Resource Guide (HTML)