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Matt Dillon. Nelson Algren. Barry Gifford. Be There.

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 9, 2009 6:35PM

photo by swanksalot

2009 marks the 100th birthday of Nelson Algren, the quintessential Chicago author. Long before the word "hipster" had even been coined, he chronicled the bleak existence of society's misfits, living on the fringe in West Town and Wicker Park. His best known books are The Man with the Golden Arm, Chicago: City on the Make and Never Come Morning, which no less than Hemingway declared "the best book to come out of Chicago." They describe a Chicago so different from our city today that they almost read like science fiction, yet when Algren lived here he often hung out at the Rainbo Club and the Gold Star.

On April 6, actor Matt Dillon, alongside authors Barry Gifford, Russell Banks, and Don DeLillo, will celebrate Algren's life and times at the Steppenwolf. The one-night only event will feature performances of previously-unseen work by Algren (with a script by Gifford and Dan Simon) and slide projections by esteemed photographer Art Shay. Tickets are $20 and can ordered through the Steppenwolf box office by calling 312-335-1650.