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Critical Mass

Noteworthy new releases for November

BOOKS

 

Finding Iris Chang

Da Capo Press; $24
After the unexpected suicide of Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking, in 2004, Chicago writer Paula Kamen decided to unravel Chang’s complex psychological decline. Excerpts from Chang’s letters, archives, and personal correspondence allow a glimpse into the deteriorating mind of a talented woman whose severe depression and bipolar disorder led her to take her own life.

 

Harold! Photographs from the Harold Washington Years

Northwestern University Press; $19.95
This handsome book pays tribute to Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington, and kicks off six months of public events in his memory. More than 100 pictures snapped by photographers Marc PoKempner and Antonio Dickey trace Washington’s underdog rise, his first term, and his untimely death 20 years ago this November.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright: Mid-Century Modern

Rizzoli New York; $55
A coffee table tome for Frank Lloyd Wright buffs. The photographs, by Alan Weintraub, capture some of Wright’s lesser-known projects, such as Maximilian Hoffman’s house in Rye, New York. Like many other projects in the book, the Hoffman house reinforces Wright’s belief that “a house should be of the hill, never on it.”asdf Messinger, cohost of the local literature-meets-comedy hour Dollar Store, finds inspiration for his show from dollar store bookshelves. He brings this spirit of randomness to his début collection of short stories, which is full of lonely, but endearing characters, including himself.

 

See You in Court

The New Press; $24.95
Why do Americans sue each other so much? Chicago public interest lawyer Thomas Geoghegan offers an insider perspective, linking the onslaught of litigation to the rise of conservatism.

 

Photography: Black Box Studios, Inc.

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