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Over the Hills and Everywhere

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 14, 2007 1:44PM

There are a few ways to know for sure that spring is coming. One way is to watch the people of Chicago come out from their interiors — eyes blink in the sunlight, unsure of how to handle pristine sunshine. Pasty, sallow faces look carefully upwards, fearful that the sun might suddenly hide again. They step tentatively forward, holding tightly to the remnants of winter: a glove that has lost its mate, or a threadbare Bears hat that refuses to be lost. They stretch and croon, and tears of relief splash and combine with the salty white marble pattern left by owners of condos, but not of dogs. Their tears will wash away with the first summer rain. Wow, pardon our waxing poetic, we can't help it, it's in the air. We should move on before we start writing haiku....

Another way to know spring is coming is when Chicago announces their spring pick for "One Book, One Chicago".

Baldwin3_14_07.jpgThe book this time around is James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. Baldwin’s autobiographical novel tells the story of a family during one day in church. We haven't read Go Tell It on the Mountain, but plan on checking it out. Reading about Baldwin’s personal history seems dramatic enough, while the novel touches on themes of racism, bisexuality and the moral ambiguities of religion. Mary Dempsey, Library Commissioner says “The language is tough. The situations are tough. … But it is truly a slice of life. It’s what people encountered in that day. It’s what people encounter still today. It’s what young people trying to grow up in a society that may not always understand them as they’re trying to discover themselves encountered. It’s brutally honest, but it’s also beautifully written.”

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