Chicago Tribune Expands Its Literary Series With New Monthly Author Talks Featuring Major Talents; Series Also Includes Annual Printers Row Lit Fest and Literary Prizes

Upcoming Author Talks include one-on-one conversations with: Amy Chua, February 17; Joyce Carol Oates, March 31; Alexander McCall Smith, April 3; and Kathryn Stockett, May 6

Jan 21, 2011, 12:20 ET from Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the success of its long tradition of celebrating books, writing, and authors, the Chicago Tribune has expanded its Literary Series to include Author Talks, a new monthly series of one-on-one discussions with authors about their new releases and beloved classics, led by Chicago Tribune Literary Editor Elizabeth Taylor. The Author Talks series launches with Amy Chua, author of the provocative new book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, to be held at the Tribune Tower event space, 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Thursday, February 17, 2011.

"In a city with a deep literary tradition, the Tribune's books and literature events reach an audience seeking illumination, education and entertainment.  The intimate, new Author Talks series augments the well established Printers Row Lit Fest in June and the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize in November. Chicagoans who enjoy the written word will certainly find themselves sated this year," said Taylor.

Author Talks offer audiences a rare opportunity to interact with favorite authors – or discover new ones – in the context of an intimate salon led by Chicago Tribune Literary Editor Elizabeth Taylor. A question & answer session is part of each Author Talks, along with a "meet & mingle" reception in which audience members are encouraged to continue the dialogue.  The author will be on hand to sell and sign books.    

The initial Author Talks lineup includes:

  • Bestselling author Amy Chua, discussing her recent release, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Penguin).  Her witty, provocative, and utterly absorbing memoir of her experience in extreme parenting reveals the rewards—and the costs— of raising her children the Chinese way.  Liz Taylor interviews Amy Chua at the Tribune Tower event space, 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Thursday, February 17, at 7 p.m.
  • The universally acclaimed Joyce Carol Oates returns to Chicago on the heels of A Widow's Story (Harper Collins, publication date: Feb. 15).  The author's poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, details its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates' novels (Blonde, The Gravedigger's Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction.   Oates will appear at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State Street, Thursday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m.  Admission for this Author Talks is free.  Admission to the "meet & mingle" reception with the author is $10.  
  • Alexander McCall Smith, the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, has written more than 60 books, including academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books.  McCall Smith will sit down to review his extensive career and take questions about his most popular character, Detective Precious Ramotswe, at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Avenue, Sunday, April 3, at 4 p.m.
  • Kathryn Stockett's The Help (Putnam) shares the story of three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town and changes the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. The Help is Stockett's first novel and is being made into a major motion picture from Dreamworks Studios. Stockett will take the stage at a location TBA Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this event will include a copy of The Help in paperback and are priced at $20.

Other Author Talks are planned for September 21 and October 19, with authors to be announced.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for most Author Talks programs are $10 each and can be purchased by calling (312) 222-3348 or visiting

The Printers Row Lit Fest, founded as the Printers Row Book Fair in 1985 by the Near South Planning Board, was purchased by the Chicago Tribune in 2001 as part of its ongoing commitment to the written word and its support of literacy and literary endeavor. It is considered the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest-drawing more than 125,000 book lovers to the two-day showcase, featuring more than 200 booksellers from around the country and more than 100 free literary programs on seven stages. The 2011 Printers Row Lit Fest will take place June 4 and 5.  

The Chicago Tribune annually presents a series of Literary Prizes, including its signature Chicago Tribune Literary Prize, awarded each fall since 2002 to a "prominent person in American letters," in conjunction with the Chicago Humanities Festival. The Chicago Tribune Literary Prize was awarded to playwright-fiction writer-actor Sam Shepard in 2010, in front of an audience of nearly 2,000 at Orchestra Hall.   The Heartland Prizes are also presented each fall, and since 1988, have paid tribute to an author of an outstanding book published from June of the prior year to June of that year.  The 2010 Heartland winners were E. O. Wilson for Anthill and Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  The Tribune's other awards include its Young Adult Literary Prize, presented in recognition of a lifetime of achievement reaching young adult readers, and the Nelson Algren Short Story Prize, named for one of the city's best-known writers and attracting entries from across the country. A special event at Printers Row Lit Fest in June celebrates the winners from both these contests.

The Chicago Tribune Literary Series is just one part of Trib Nation, a new initiative of community outreach by the Chicago Tribune that also includes Chicago Live!, the weekly live radio show taping showcasing who and what is making news in Chicago each week; Chicago Forward: Conversations About the Future, a series of live gatherings of policymakers exploring issues of great importance to the Chicago region; programs by Chicago Tribune columnists and personalities; and TribU, a multi-platform series focusing on personal and professional enrichment, including classes and seminars led by Chicago Tribune journalists. For 163 years, the Chicago Tribune has been a market-leading newspaper publication of Tribune Company.  Reaching three million readers each week in the greater Chicago area, the publication is known for its award-winning journalism.  The Tribune's news focus is centered on the Chicago experience, community issues and government, the local economy and business, as well as entertainment, culture and sports.

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SOURCE Chicago Tribune