A little later today I’ll have my review of the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday book section. While the book section was pretty thin â€” the theme this week was baseball books â€” the cover story of the Sunday magazine focused on Chicago novelist Larry Heinemann, whose new book, Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam, comes out on Friday. I’ve been immersed in Heinemann, Vietnam novels, and war novels in general over the past couple of months, so I’ve got some observations to share about that. I also did a piece on Heinemann’s new book for Chicago Public Radio, which is supposed to air this coming Sunday.
As my events list shows, this week and next represent the peak of the spring literary season in Chicago, with thirty-odd events over the next 14 days. If you could be several places at one time, you’d get a good year’s worth of literary events on Tuesday alone, with Hemon at Northwestern, Winterson at the Newberry, Elizabeth Gaffney at Barbara’s in Oak Park, and Pierre Joris down in Hyde Park. Toward the end of the week, it’s poetry, poetry, poetry. (See the right-hand column for links.)
Joris (bio) lectures on Celan on Tuesday afternoon and reads from his own poetry, as part of the Poem Present series, on Wednesday night. This is the literary event of the spring, as far as I’m concerned. (A melancholy thought: I said the same thing at about this time last year.)