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Cultural CriticWhen you regard an author as the best of her generation, and among the best of any generation, and you read just about everything she's ever written - which includes, in the case of Joyce Carol Oates, dozens and dozens of novels and short-story...
Cultural critic"Letters of James Agee to Father Flye" (1962). The poet, novelist and film critic James Agee was fatherless from a young age and filled the gap with a kindly Catholic priest, to whom Agee wrote frequently and candidly. "The Letters of Virginia Woolf"...
Tags: Flannery O'Connor, James Agee
Tribune cultural critic"A Visit From The Goon Squad" By Jennifer Egan Knopf, 288 pages, $25.95 Jennifer Egan's decision to render portions of her new novel, "A Visit From the Goon Squad" (Knopf), as a PowerPoint presentation is: Clever. Edgy. Groundbreaking. The novel by...
Just when you think you've got the guy's number, he turns around and confounds you, giving all the stereotypes about him a swift kick in the keister. On Aug. 3, 2001, Mayor Richard Daley — he of the mangled syntax and truncated vocabulary, he of...
Tags: Richard M. Daley, Elizabeth II
Rick Kogan, Tribune reporter "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood" By Jane Leavy Harper, $27.99 Leavy's "The Last Boy" is as masterfully researched and beautifully written as any biography this year. Sox fans like me may...
Politics is all about labels: Democrat, Republican or independent. Right, left or center. Conservative or liberal. For the characters in a Julie Hyzy novel, though, there's only one label that really matters: the one on the box, can or bottle. Because in...
Tags: Politics, Laura Bush, Little Village, White House, Family
Tribune cultural criticNo, sirree: No Nancy Drew for me. As a kid, I could take or leave the plucky young detective. The books to which I was drawn — like a stubby little space-copter caught in the irresistible tractor beam of the mammoth mother ship — were those...
Tribune cultural criticExperiment with these grea, new science titles: "Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species" (2009) By Sean B. Carroll A finalist for the National Book Award, this gem by a molecular biologist at the University of...
The phenomenal and deserved worldwide success of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy -- the second book, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” was published in the U.S. earlier this week -- has people paying close attention not only to the book's...
Tags: Atlanta, New York City Police Department, Death, Georgia, Crimes
In "Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel," Julia Keller, the Tribune's cultural critic, provides a lively and well-informed biographical study of Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903), inventor of the prototypical machine gun that made his name far more familiar...
Tags: Richard Jordan, Armed Forces, Abraham Lincoln, Death, Firearms
Tribune cultural criticHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince By J.K. Rowling Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 660 pages, $29.95 Grief, terrible grief, the kind of bleak and feverish woe that wracks the body and overwhelms the mind and shrivels the spirit--that's what young...
Tribune reporter Julia Keller met the Weimer family at Kelly Weimer's wake April 28, 2005. With their permission, Keller followed family members over the course of the year, as they came to terms with Kelly's death. Keller interviewed Kelly's friends...
Apr 8, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Oct 22, 2010 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Jun 5, 2010 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Apr 30, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Dec 25, 2010 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Dec 30, 2010 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Jan 22, 2010 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Jan 22, 2010 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Aug 2, 2009 |Story| Los Angeles Times
Jun 7, 2008 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Jul 17, 2005 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Mar 28, 2006 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Original site for Julia Keller topic gallery.