Playlist Books


The cover of the book Poverty, By America and its author Matthew Desmond

A Q&A with the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of 'Poverty, By America'

Daniel Hautzinger

Matthew Desmond won a Pulitzer Prize for his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. His newest book tries to answer the questions, "Why is there so much poverty in the United States, and how can we finally end it?”
The Bloomsbury Handbook of Indian Cuisine and one of its editors, Colleen Taylor Sen

The Co-Editor of a New Encyclopedia of Indian Cuisine Explores Her Neighborhood, Along Devon Avenue

Daniel Hautzinger

Colleen Taylor Sen has lived in West Ridge near the South Asian mecca of Devon Avenue for fifty years, before there even were South Asian restaurants and shops. She has written numerous books about Indian food, although she came to writing them later in life.
Saul Bellow in his portrait from his book 'Herzog'

From the Archive: Chicago Author and Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow

Daniel Hautzinger

"I am an American, Chicago born," Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March famously begins. Watch Bellow discuss winning the Nobel Prize and the sudden overwhelming media attention it brought in a segment from a 1977 WTTW show.
Conleth Hill as Alan Conway in Magpie Murders

The Major Differences Between 'Magpie Murders' the TV Show and Book

Daniel Hautzinger

The author Anthony Horowitz adapted his own novel, Magpie Murders, for television, so the two versions share the same vision. But there are differences based on the differing mediums—we explain a few of them here. 
Kaliya Curry. Photo: Mary Anne Mohanraj

A Recipe for a Vegan Sri Lankan Curry from Oak Park Writer Mary Anne Mohanraj

Daniel Hautzinger

Kaliya curry is a traditional curry eaten by Sri Lankan Muslims that features fried eggplant, plantain, and potato. The Oak Park writer Mary Anne Mohanraj, who has a vegan Sri Lankan cookbook coming out this fall, shares her recipe.
Mary Anne Mohanraj. Photo: Courtesy Mary Anne Mohanraj

How the Oak Park Author Mary Anne Mohanraj Filled "A Hole in Her Heart" By Writing a Sri Lankan Cookbook

Daniel Hautzinger

Mary Anne Mohanraj primarily writes science fiction, but a desire to connect to the cuisine of her birthplace of Sri Lanka led her to write a cookbook celebrating the diverse cuisine of the island; she's now publishing a vegan sequel.
Gill Hornby and her novel Miss Austen

A Novel About Jane Austen Is Being Made into a Miniseries for PBS

Daniel Hautzinger

Jane Austen is once again being adapted for the screen, but this time it's her life, not her books, that is the subject. Gill Hornby's novel Miss Austen, which tells the story of Jane and her sister Cassandra, is becoming a series that will air on WTTW and PBS stations via Masterpiece

Author Mia P. Manansala and her book Homicide and Halo-Halo. Photo: Jamilla Yip Photography;  Cover Design: Vi-An Nguyen

Why There's Food in Nearly Every Scene of Chicago Native Mia P. Manansala's New Mystery

Daniel Hautzinger

Chicago native Mia P. Manansala's Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery Series is packed full of lovingly described food—as well as engrossing mystery. Manansala believes a character's approach to food reveals a lot about them, and wants to expose people to Filipino culture.
Sophie Wilde and Solly McLeod

An Adaptation of "The Mother of All Rom-coms" Is Coming to PBS

Daniel Hautzinger

Tom Jones is the mother of all rom-coms and isn’t that just what we all need after the last couple of years of misery?" says the writer of an upcoming adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic work, considered one of the first novels. 
Henry Wilcox (Matthew MacFadyen) and Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) in 'Howards End.' Photo: Courtesy Starz Entertainment

50 Years of 'Masterpiece,' by the Author

Julia Maish

Masterpiece is lauded for its literary adaptations. Some authors have proven to be so popular with audiences that several of their works (and sometimes their life stories as well) have been adapted for television, with some reimagined more than once.
Hemingway family portrait. From left to right: Ursula, Clarence, Ernest, Grace, and Marcelline Hemingway. October 1903. Image: Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Hemingway's Childhood

Daniel Hautzinger

Join a conversation between filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick along with Hemingway scholar Verna Kale and acclaimed author Tim O'Brien as they discuss Hemingway's childhood in Oak Park. 
Willard Motley. Photo: Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress

The First Bud Billiken

Daniel Hautzinger

Willard Motley wrote stories for children in the Chicago Defender as the first "Bud Billiken" while he was a teen, then went on to write hardboiled novels about Chicago's down-and-out. But he was criticized for writing about white instead of Black characters.
Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo. Image: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Ernest Hemingway's Youth in Oak Park and Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

Hemingway was born in Oak Park but left as soon as he could and began framing himself in opposition to what he considered the middle-class values of the suburb. A sojourn in Chicago helped introduce him to a literary world and sent him on his way to Paris.
Ernest Hemingway at his home Cuba, late 1940s. Photo: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Tackle Ernest Hemingway

Daniel Hautzinger

The three-part, six-hour Hemingway from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick comes to WTTW and PBS in April, featuring the voices of Jeff Daniels and Meryl Streep among others, as well as authors Edna O'Brien, Mario Vargas Llosa, Tobias Wolff, and more.
Nella Larsen in 1928. Photo: James Allen/Library of Congress, Harmon Foundation Records, Manuscript Division.

The Novelist Nella Larsen's Life Between Worlds

Daniel Hautzinger

Nella Larsen existed in disparate worlds, never quite finding her place: born to a Danish mother and West Indian father in a Chicago vice district, she eventually became a part of the Harlem Renaissance and Black professional class, producing a neglected classic novel. 
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