Saul Bellow and Ernest Hemingway grew up there. The eight-hour work day, the Ponzi scheme and the rhythm and blues have risen from its streets. But Chicago is not just a city of the past.
In this issue, Aleksandar Hemon plays football with Italians and Tibetans along Lake Shore Drive. Chicago born MacArthur ‘genius’ grant-winning photographer Camilo José Vegara captures the demolition of the city’s massive public housing estates. Richard Powers recollects the flood of 1992. Don DeLillo remembers Nelson Algren. Alex Kotlowitz explores the cost of urban violence and Dinaw Mengestu describes moving back home to run his dying father’s messenger business. Plus a sneak preview of Peter Carey’s new novel.
Finally, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka meditates on the meaning of the city’s most visible son, Barack Obama. Out of these stories – which will be wrapped in a beautiful cover by Chris Ware – will arise a vivid portrait of a city remaking itself: a city shredded by violence but poised for a new future; a city that once again has a legitimate claim to being the home of the world’s best writers.