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Friday, October 23

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Events Thu Dec 05 2013

Revel in the City's Storied Past with The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is an institution that feels a little bit misplaced in time. Most of its nominees passed from the city into literary fame or footnote long ago. And yet it is not an elderly institution: it held its first induction ceremony only in 2010. Its mission is to add layers to our experience as Chicagoans by reminding us how the city has been reflected and reshaped in the works of its writers. It wishes to make sure we recall that not only did columnist Ben Hecht spend One Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago and L. Frank Baum write The Wizard of Oz from his family home on Humboldt Boulevard, but also how Leon Forrest overlaid his fictional Forest County atop our own and that Thornton Wilder taught at the University of Chicago for six years.

Along with these four luminaries, a ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7pm in Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall (430 S. Michigan) will honor Edna Ferber (Giant, Showboat) and Jet and Ebony publisher John H. Johnson. The program will also explore the ways that the honorees' visions of the city reverberate with its current writers and other assorted arts-adjacent figures--presenters range from Joe Meno and Thomas Dyja to Sex and the City actor David Eigenberg.

Enhancing the sense of eras colliding, the awards themselves will be accepted by relatives, descendants, and friends of the inductees, including Baum's grandson and Wilder's nephew. Guests can reserve a seat at the strange and wondrous festivities for free online.

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

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
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