The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.


By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 6, 2006 4:47PM

With all the hullaballoo over James Frey’s memoirs, Chicagoist senses a mighty duel 2006_02_duel.jpgbrewing between fiction and non-fiction, and wants to get in on it. We’re choosing our allegiance by deciding between two literary events this week, one a fiction reading by Julian Barnes, the other a non-fiction reading and discussion by Christina Page that both take place at 6 pm this Monday.

English writer Julian Barnes will read from his novel, Arthur and George, which is based on actual events in the life of Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Okay, so it’s fiction about a real guy. That’s still fiction, okay?) Chicagoist has heard stories about Doyle that rival those of his character, Holmes, and can’t wait to get our hands on this mystery novel.

Cristina Page will read from her non-fiction book, How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex. The book argues that the pro-choice movement’s struggles are actually leading to fewer abortions. With last year’s bestseller, Freakanomics, and its contested argument about legalized abortion corresponding with lower crime rates, as well as the new biography Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism out recently, Chicagoist sees an ongoing (if not totally frustrating) debate about abortion continuing in this here United States. And with the confirmation of Judge Alito, it couldn’t be more current.

Barnes’ reading is at 6:00 pm downtown at Newberry Library and Page’s is at 7:30 at Women and Children First in Andersonville, so if you skip the Q&A at Barnes’s reading and hop onto the red line, you may be able to make it to Page’s reading and do both. But Chicagoist finds it more exciting to choose sides and let the controversy rage on.

Thanks, Maria!