November-December 2017 Local Authors
THIS USED TO BE CHICAGO
90 city structures reinvented
Chicago’s story is one of continual transformation. In this unusually investigative tour guide, long-time journalist Joni Hirsch Blackman lets her curiosity lead readers through the colorful history of some of Chicago distinctive buildings. In story-telling prose, she reveals that every structure has a past — the liquor store that used to be a Prohibition speakeasy, the ferry boat-turned-yacht club, and the countless condominiums that at one time were factories for crackers, shoes, postcards and even pianos.
Take, for instance, the one-time Evangelical church with soaring beams that made it especially well suited to serve as the future home of Aloft Circus Arts — think trapezes in the steeple. Or the 1890s cable-car powerhouse at LaSalle that’s now an entertainment mecca serving up pizza, basketball and Chicago-style comedy.
To capture the way Chicago used to be, Hirsch Blackman plowed through scores of documents — everything from real estate reports, landmark designation footnotes and even observations in newspaper society columns. She visited each location and interviewed building owners, developers and former residents. The result is a singular, structure-by-structure account of the history of a wide range of noteworthy Chicago buildings.
With the instincts of a beat reporter, Hirsch Blackman looks behind the façades and sees people, places and the power of a city to reimagine itself, over and over again.
Naperville resident Joni Hirsch Blackman is a regular columnist in West Suburban Living. A career journalist, she has enjoyed a lifetime fascination with the city of Chicago and frequently volunteers to show off the Chicago River area as a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
WHERE MY BODY ENDS AND THE WORLD BEGINS
by Tony Romano of Glen Ellyn
Inspired by the December 1958 destruction by fire of Our Lady of the Angels school in Chicago, this riveting novel is set a decade after the event. Anthony Lazzari struggles with survivor’s guilt and revisits his childhood to face up to the traumatizing experience. In the process, he uncovers long-hidden family secrets that take a toll on his still-fragile psyche.
THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV
by Elizabeth Berg of Oak Park
From the unexpected friendship of two lonely souls, novelist Elizabeth Berg tells an emotionally charged story of heartbreaking loss and joyful second chances. When aging widower Arthur crosses paths with introspective schoolgirl Maddie, small acts of kindness have the power to heal. Berg celebrates the possibility of finding happiness and starting life anew.
KILLING HER SOFTLY
by Barb Warner Deane of Elmhurst
Desperate to escape an abusive marriage, Kate turns to her brother-in-law, a former FBI agent — and her first love —Jack. Against the backdrop of a murder investigation and a string of threatening notes, Jack battles strained family ties to help Kate reinvent herself. At once emotive and suspenseful, the plot drives toward the triumph of love and courage over adversity.
LEO AND THE SPIRIT OF GOLDEN BOY
by Edith Vosefski of Downers Grove
In an inspiring tale of a boy’s love of horses and his desire to become a horse whisperer, Leo learns the secrets of a native American farrier who trims and shoes horses’ hooves. Writing in her 87th year, Vosefski pours a lifetime of wisdom into the curious mind of a child and shows how an unusual friendship helps him learn empathy, humility and faith on his journey toward adulthood.Edit Module