Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American Scream

On Wednesday, March 19, don't miss Don De Grazia and others read at Columbia College's Story week. When I was 15 years old, De Grazia came to my high school and did a workshop with me and 6 other students. He had just published his awesome novel, American Skin, abroad, but it'd be a couple years before an American publisher would have the guts to pick it up, so it wasn't till I was 18 that I got to read the thing in full and realize how fully rad the man is. American Skin is sort of like a much softer core American History X (it's about skin heads, but not the racist kind -- which is a distinction very important to some kids here in Chicago though I've never heard of it elsewhere) told with the same coming-of-age narrative style as Hairstyles of the Damned, which means that he landmarks it with songs and specifically Chicago cultural geography. If you live in Chicago, you should read it if simply to reminisce about those days when Belmont and Clark was the local Mecca for homeless punks, who would line the streets and alleyways and wait for the youth work vans to deliver brown bag meals a couple times daily. Does anyone else ever wonder what ever happened to all those homeless punks? Did they shape up and get jobs that earn enough wages to move to Bridgeport and Pilsen communal living spaces, or are they just relocated to other cities, where punk culture still thrives? Maybe De Grazia knows.


Weds. March 19

2:30 PM
Panel: New American Voices, Poverty & Privilege
with Junot Diaz, Drown; ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere;
Colin Channer, Waiting in Vain; Alexis Pride, Where the River Ends;
Don De Grazia, American Skin
Host: Ian Jack, columnist, The Guardian,
author, and former editor, Granta
Harold Washington Library
Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
400 S. State St., Chicago

6:00 PM
Full-Time Faculty Reading
With Don De Grazia, American Skin; Alexis J. Pride, Where the River Ends; and Betty Shiflett, award-winning short story writer
Host: Eric May
Columbia College Chicago
Film Row Cinema, 8th Floor
1104 S. Wabash, Chicago

1 comment:

Micaela B. said...

I still got your copy, bigg stace...necessary book swap soon.