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News Wed Jun 24 2009

Chicago Authors Know How to Write a Threesome

The Guardian asked novelist Ewan Morrison, author of Menage, to pick the Top Ten Literary Threesomes. His list includes not one, but two Chicago authors. In at #1, the Top Literary Threesome Ever, is Oak Park native Ernest Hemingway with The Garden of Eden, a novel that "tells the story of an author, his adventurous wife, and the psycho-sexual games they play while sharing a young woman. It is largely held to be autobiographical." University of Chicago alum Susan Sontag comes in at #7 with The Volcano Lover, a historical fiction revolving around Sir William Hamilton, his wife Emma and Vice Admiral Horation Nelson. Apparently, Chicago authors know how to write the sexy. (Of course, we already knew that.)

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Pete / June 25, 2009 12:26 PM

It's quite a stretch calling Hemingway and Sontag "Chicago authors", based solely on their relatively brief associations with the city. Was Saul Bellow a Montreal author? Was Theodore Dreiser a Terre Haute author?

Julie / June 25, 2009 9:34 PM

I think Pete makes a good point. Neither Hemingway nor Sontag seem like Chicago authors to me. But what does make an author a Chicago author. You can read my thoughts on this at

Alice / June 25, 2009 10:16 PM

For the purposes of the GB Book Club, a local--or "Chicago"--author is defined as anyone who is/was born, lived, worked or died in the Chicagoland area. Our intent is only to illuminate the wide variety of writers who have made this city their home, and not to make any qualitative statement about "authenticity." Indeed, several cities/states/countries can often legitimately claim an author as one of their own. Hemingway is a great example. Although he may have escaped the Chicago area as soon as he left school, never to return, good luck telling the fine folks at the Hemingway Museum and Hemingway Birthplace in Oak Park that he isn't a local boy.

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

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