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Archive for the ‘Chicago Literary Scene’ Category

David Henry Hwang’s Plays in Chicago

Posted by litdaily on June 26, 2011

Chinglish, the latest play by David Henry Hwang, premieres today at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre with a scheduled run through July 24, 2011. Chinglish takes on a theme that Hwang also explored in his popular Broadway play M. Butterfly: a Western man in China entrapped in his orientalist vision of the East as feminine, mysterious, and at the same time also incomprehensible. Hwang’s latest play is about an American businessman in China and reprises the East-West encounter in the context of fear of a surging Chinese economy. While Gallimard in M. Butterfly was a French diplomat navigating the war theatre in South-east Asia, the changed occupation of the protagonist in Chinglish to a businessman reflects that capitalist economy has replaced the paradigm of militarism as the new frontier that drives the West’s imagination of China. You can find Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones’s preview of Chinglish and an interesting discussion of Hwang’s writing process here.

Another Hwang play Yellow Face is playing at the Silk Road Theatre Company and is produced in collaboration with Goodman. Yellow Face seeks to bring honesty to discussions about the role of race in casting media productions. The play’s context includes Hwang’s role in the controversy surrounding the casting of New York theatre production of Miss Saigon in 1990, when Asian Americans protested the casting of Jonathan Pryce, a Welsh-born white actor, to play an Asian character…more>>


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Eye on India festival, July 8th-17th

Posted by litdaily on June 22, 2011

Eye on India festival will take place from July 8th-17th in Chicago. The festival will showcase a number of events from literature to yoga/ayurveda…find out more>>

In terms of literature, Tarun Tejpal, Hari Kunzru, Shrabani Basu, and Nayantara Sahgal will be discussing their work at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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I Love Yous Are for White People

Posted by litdaily on April 20, 2011

Author Lac Su will be reading from his memoir, I Love Yous Are for White People, today at UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, from 4-6.  For more on this event…>>

I know this is a late posting of the event but I think it’s going to be an interesting discussion.  He’s also previously written an article on CNN about Tiger parenting and the emotional damage it has caused him…>>

Although Chua rubbed me (and most of the nation) the wrong way (you can look up previous posts), something valuable did come out of her publication. There’s more awareness of the costs that are incurred by “model minority” hype.  Many Asians fall for this stereotype themselves, but few want to look into their past and delve into their family histories in order to see what kinds of emotional, psychological, physical and mental toll it takes.

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Karen Tei Yamashita Events in Chicago

Posted by litdaily on March 13, 2011

Karen Tei Yamashita will be reading from her latest offering I Hotel,  and will participate in a conversation and book signing, along with authors Audrey Niffeneger and Gerard Woodward, on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 6p.m. at Harold Washington Library Center…more>>

Yamashita will also be in conversation with Alexis Pride the following day, Wednesday, March 16 at 1p.m….more>>

Both these events are a part of Columbia College’s 15th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers: Class Acts.

You can find our recent “Conversation” about Yamashita’s novel Tropic of Orange here.

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Literary Chicago…Under One Roof

Posted by litdaily on March 1, 2011

Since we are talking about libraries on this blog today, from “The Book Bench,” here is a brief history of Chicago Publishers Gallery, a city literary treasure. The gallery aims to carry books and periodicals from every publisher in the city and the works of all authors from Chicago and Illinois. The room full of wonders seems straight out of a fantasy novel:

The two women [Lois Weisberg and Danielle Chapman] secured a room inside the Chicago Cultural Center, a landmark building with sweeping staircases and massive glass domes, and created what is now the Chicago Publishers Gallery, a twenty-three-hundred-volume collection of Windy City print. With its adjoining café and veined marble walls, the gallery feels as though it’s part Starbucks, part library, part crypt.

While the space is physically located in Chicago, its literary holdings attest to the global dimensions of the city: “…true to the boundaryless nature of publishing, for every Chicago-related book there are fifteen far-flung others: ‘Chinese Sculpture,’ ‘60,001+ Best Baby Names,’ ‘Album of the Damned: Snapshots from the Third Reich.’”


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Film Screening and Discussion: “The House of Suh”

Posted by litdaily on February 5, 2011

The award-winning film “The House of Suh | A good son is committed for life” will be screened at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Tuesday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a discussion with UIC alumna Iris K. Shim, the film’s director and producer, producer Gerry Kim and associate producer and UI graduate Joseph Lee. Further details for the event can be found here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Film Synopsis: Yoon Myung and Tai Sook Suh immigrated to America for a better life for their children, Andrew and Catherine. But their pursuit of happiness quickly became riddled with misfortune, culminating on Sept. 25, 1993, when Andrew shot and killed his older sister’s fiancé of eight years, Robert O’Dubaine, at Catherine’s bidding. Those closest to Andrew expressed shock and disbelief: How could a young man with a promising future allow himself to be convinced into committing murder? As the Suh’s complex history unfolds, issues of cultural assimilation, traditional values and justice are examined, raising questions of guilt, innocence and the illusive gray area in between.

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Chicago Literary Events

Posted by litdaily on February 2, 2011

Since it’s a “snow day” for fellow Chicagoans, I thought I would post some local literary events that might compel us to make plans outside our homes. Even though it’s been such a cold, dismal winter, there have been several interesting literary events and there are more still to come.

On February 17th, Elizabeth Taylor will interview Amy Chua at the Chicago Tribune Tower.

On March 31, Joyce Carol Oates returns to Chicago to discuss her memoir at Harold Washington Library.

For more on these events…>>

I attended the SAJA event last Saturday, which featured a panel of very successful South Asian journalists in the media, such as Ameet Sachdev, Bobby Ghosh, Ravi Baichwal, and S. Mitra Kalita.     In particular, there was one interesting point made about race and occupation. While one panelist said that he didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as the “South Asian” journalist that works on South Asian news, another felt that his identity as “South Asian” helped in getting certain assignments.

For me, it was nice to get out of the world of academia and see how writers in the “real” world engage with the cultural issues that I’m interested in exploring.  But always from behind my desk and from endless piles of theoretical texts.

Kudos to those who can get the stories and bring them to us.  For anyone interested, SAJA has a really interesting set of media covers they’ve archived, which details how South Asia has been imagined in Western media…>>

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Terry Eagleton at DePaul University

Posted by litdaily on November 4, 2010

Terry Eagleton will be presenting at DePaul University as part of their Humanities Center Series.  The talk will take place on Monday, November 8 and will center on debates around science and literature…more>>

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An Evening of Film and Consciousness-Raising

Posted by litdaily on October 21, 2010

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will host a film screening of A Crossroad Called Manzanar and Vincent Who? on Friday, Oct. 22.  For more details, see >>

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Gary Okihiro Lecture at Northwestern University

Posted by litdaily on October 13, 2010

Professor Gary Okihiro, ethnic studies scholar and founding director for Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, is presenting a talk titled “Our Ethnic Studies: A Reflection of the Field and Its Future” as part of Chicago’s Northwestern University Colloquium on Ethnicity & Diaspora on Thursday, October 14…more>>

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Voices of Resistance Nine: Fair and Lovely

Posted by litdaily on September 1, 2010

The Old Town School of Folk Music in partnership with the South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC) presents The Voices of Resistance Nine (VOR9) on Sept 12, 2010…more>>

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Margaret Cho to Perform in Chicago

Posted by litdaily on August 27, 2010

Asian American comedienne Margaret Cho’s new album Cho Dependent is out in stores now. Cho will be performing in Chicago on October 16…more>>

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One Book, One Chicago Opening Event

Posted by litdaily on August 24, 2010

On Sept. 7th, The Harold Washington Library Center will present Dwight McBride, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Professor of African American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies.  He will discuss Toni Morrison’s Mercy, asserting that she is more than just a novelist, but also a leading American intellectual…more >>

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Free Author Events at Chicago Public Library

Posted by litdaily on August 24, 2010

September is a hot month for literary events at the Chicago Public Library.  There will be readings by Nicole Hollander, Richard Rhodes, Audrey Niffennegger, Douglas Perry, David Rakoff, and Isabel Wilkerson…more >>

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DePaul University launches Certificate in Publishing

Posted by litdaily on August 17, 2010

DePaul University, Chicago, is offering a Certificate in Publishing starting Fall 2010 with three separate workshops in editorial and production, publicity and marketing, and digital publishing…more>>

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