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Got To Choose: Irvine Welsh And Junot Díaz Read In Chicago This Week

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 11, 2012 3:40PM

Two of the authors mentioned in our September book recommendations will be gracing us with their presence this week. On Wednesday, both Junot Díaz and Irvine Welsh will be reading from their new bodies of work. Unfortunately, you'll be forced to choose, as they are appearing in two separate events! Both Welsh and Díaz have very distinct styles, so take a pick as to which author or book pertains to your reading interests.

Díaz will be appearing as a part of the Tribune's Printers Row Live! series on Wednesday, joined by Tribune Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary Schmich. His new novel, This is How You Lose Her, is released today. After his first book, Drown, and his novel, the Pulitzer Prize-adorned The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, expectations are running quite high. What we're seeing from the critics thus far reflects that once again he has not failed to disappoint. If you're not familiar with Díaz's style, we can only summarize it as unyieldingly rough as much as it is heartbreaking and fragile. The topics often include machismo, racism, and poverty—all explored with the complexity of a skilled storyteller. If you're looking for prose that's elegant, but consistently armed for war, then this event might be for you.

Sept. 12, Chase Auditorium: 10 S. Dearborn St., 7 p.m., $15

While Diaz is on stage, Irvine Welsh will be reading at Smart Bar. Welsh's new novel, Skagboys, is the long-awaited prequel to Trainspotting. The plot and characters of Trainspotting are a staple package for the youth of the 1990s. The novel and Danny Boyle's film adaptation were not only successful, but they became a cultural milestone for a generation of unheard voices in the economically devastated and drug-hazed Edinburgh. While most of Welsh's signature features remain in this novel—the drugs, the vulgarity, the phonetically accurate accents, and the unmistakable dark humor—we expect to read perhaps a more mature Welsh in this novel, an author who explores the history of Mark Renton and his cohorts with more depth and scrutiny. For those whose taste is brash, a little punk-rock, and hopefully outspoken, Welsh's reading will more than suffice.

September 12, Smart Bar: 3730 N. Clark St., 7 p.m., FREE!