Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, November 28

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

Book Club
« AV Club Interviews Steven D. Levitt Granta Chicago Issue a Fast Seller »

On the Web Tue Nov 24 2009

Julia Keller Interview

Claire Zulkey interviews Tribune critic Julia Keller about her new young adult novel, Back Home, and her non-fiction book, Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun that Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It. Says Keller on how she came to choose Gatling as a subject:

I came across his life story in the course of research on another topic, was astonished to find there was no major biography, and set to work. Gatling was a brilliant inventor and a thoughtful individual, a man who embodied the American Dream as it was manifested in the 19th Century: One worked hard, dreamed big, and one's fortunes rose or fell according to one's own talents and efforts -- not charity, not handouts, not shortcuts or good PR. The Gatling Gun represented an intellectual shift as well as a change in armaments. For the first time, one could kill an enemy en masse, not one at a time. The Gatling ushered in a period of terrible destructiveness -- but also signaled to the world that the United States was a new world force to be reckoned with. And it all began in the mind of a man with no formal education, no training, a farmer's son who stepped forth into the world in the 1840s, determined to make his mark. And did.

GB store
GB store
Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.
GB store



About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15