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Super Powers

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 16, 2006 3:30PM

powers_11_16.jpgThe winners for the National Book Awards have been announced, and a Chicago native wins the top honor. Richard Powers, born in Evanston and raised in Lincolnwood, has won the National Book Award for Fiction for his book The Echo Maker.

Richard Powers started his education as a major in physics at the University of Illinois, but he changed his major to literature midway through. Because of his interest in science, his books tend to deal with technology and humanity. Powers is now an English Professor at the University of Illinois and is the author of nine novels.

The Echo Maker is about Mark Schluter, who got into a truck accident, lapses into a 14-day coma and wakes up with a rare neurological disease called Capgras Syndrome. Capgras Syndrome is a rare disease where the sufferer believes that people who are closest to him are imposters or doubles. Schluter can’t recognize his own sister, and she seeks help from an “Oliver Sacks” type doctor, who's suffering from his own problems of bad book reviews and a failing reputation.

Chicagoist thinks it might have to run out at lunch just to get this book. And why didn't we have professors this cool when we were going to college?