5 best literary events this week
Hybrid Forms: Creative Nonfiction Week 2013 The annual fest at Columbia College Chicago celebrates the sometimes nebulous genre known as "creative nonfiction." Continuing through October 24, the schedule includes panels, classes and readings with local publishers, teachers, and masters of the form. Check out the full fest schedule. Columbia College Chicago, Stage Two. Oct 21–24. Free.
Bill Savage and Paul Durica Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America was an unofficial guide distributed during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition that told visitors where to go and what to do in the White City—kind of like a 19th-century Time Out Chicago, except it went beyond the traditional park, theater and music recs to include details on where to find gambling joints, brothels and other illicit entertainment. (So maybe TOC with a touch of Vice.) Durica and Savage edited this newly annotated version of the guide, which they'll discuss as part of the annual Despres Family Memorial Lecture Series. Chicago Public Library, Blackstone Branch. Oct 23 at 6pm. Free.
Witty Women Writers The seventh installment of this annual writers' showcase features Stacy Ballis, Amy Guth, Jen Lancaster and Claire Zulkey. The "witty" in the title sets the stakes high; alas, the Book Cellar must've realized that Showcase of Writers Who Are Hilariously Clever and Happen to Be Women and Whom You Will Find Hilarious Too, Unless You're Jerry Lewis or a Little Bit Dead Inside doesn't have quite the same ring to it. The Book Cellar. Oct 23 at 7pm. Free.
The Guild Literary Complex 2013 Prose Awards The Guild celebrates its 2013 Prose Awards with a reading featuring nonfiction finalists Benjamin Capps, JH Palmer and Gina P. Vozenilek and fiction finalists Joseph Arzac, Rebecca Keller and Cyn Vargas. Chopin Theatre. Oct 23 at 7:30pm. $7, students $5.
Josh Safran Because his mother sought to escape "the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan" and raise her son off the grid, author Josh Safran spent his childhood on the road and far afield, learning about Marxism and living in teepees, buses and shacks. In Free Spirit: Growing Up On and Off the Grid, he recalls his unconventional upbringing, and the eventual difficulties he faced in adjusting to "normal" life—made all the more difficult by his mom's marriage to an alcoholic and abusive guerrilla poet. Safran reads from the book in an event co-sponsored by SHALVA and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network. Women and Children First. Oct 24 at 6:30pm.