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Printers Row Book Fair a Page-Turner

By Tim State in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 9, 2007 10:21PM

06-09-07_printers_row.jpg“I promise you, this story is going some place. I’m not simply blogging,” said author Erik Larson at the Printers Row Book Fair, which was in full swing today.

What we love best about hanging out with author-types like Larson is that they just know how to tell a damn good story -- the stories about trying to write, or the stories that don’t fit into a particular cookie cutter format. That is, if you don’t count ‘hanging out’ as a particular format. So before a standing-room-only audience, the author of the Chicago-themed Devil in the White City and now Thunderstruck told a story about traveling to Italy to research Thunderstruck and being awe-struck when President Clinton walked into the dive restaurant where he and his daughter were dining. As Larson foreshadowed, there’s no way we can do this story justice in a blog post, so we’re just gonna have to leave you hanging.

Larson was one of the more than 150 authors who are being featured throughout the weekend. Chicagoist found many literary heavyweights: Studs Terkel, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sara Paretsky to just name a few. “Conversations” between Tribune reporters and authors, readings, and Q&A sessions are scheduled throughout the day, and are free for the having.

You won’t find many elephant ears at this festival, but there are more than 150 writing groups, literary journals, and booksellers, including resellers of rare and collectable books. The fair runs again tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Dearborn between Congress and Polk.