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Meet the Author: Mary Wisniewski, Algren, A Life

at The Newberry - Near North Side

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Course Details
Price:
Free
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Location:
Near North Side, Downtown/Loop
60 W Walton St
Btwn N Clark & N Dearborn Streets
Chicago, Illinois 60610
(Map)
Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Mary Wisniewski

What you'll learn in this literature class:

Algren, A Life is the definitive biography of Nelson Algren, one of the best-known writers of mid-twentieth-century America. Chicago journalist Mary Wisniewski interviewed dozens of Algren’s inner circle, including photographer Art Shay and the late Studs Terkel, and examined Algren’s unpublished writing and correspondence, including hundreds of letters he received from lover Simone de Beauvoir, to craft an account as entertaining as it is meticulously researched. Algren reveals new details about the writer’s life, work, personality, and habits, digging beneath the street-crawling man’s man stereotype to show a funny, sensitive, and romantic but self-destructive artist. Wisniewski shows how, initially celebrated then savaged by literary critics for his continued preoccupation with prostitutes and drug addicts in his fiction, Algren was haunted by insecurity about his work and practically gave up writing fiction after 1956, and how he finally found a sense of community and acceptance in the artist colony of Sag Harbor before his death in 1981. This fresh look at the man whose tough but humorous style and compassionate message enchanted readers and fellow writers and whose boyish charm seduced many women is indispensable to anyone interested in twentieth-century American literature.

After her talk, Ms. Wisniewski will sign copies of the book in the Newberry lobby. Algren, A Life will be available for purchase in the Newberry Bookstore. Your purchase helps to support the Newberry Library, and this program’s featured author.

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Refund Policy
Requests for refunds must be received in writing. To request a refund, email us at [email protected] The Seminars Office retains a 10% processing fee. For single- and two-session seminars, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day before the seminar begins. For seminars meeting more than twice, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day prior to the second class meeting; we cannot give a refund once the seminar has met a second time. Requests for refunds may be placed over the phone, but must be received in writing or via email before the class meets a second time.

After this the class has met (for the second time in a longer course) we pay our instructors and do not give any refunds. We do not offer letters of credit.

If the seminar fails to reach a minimum of seven registrations before the early registration deadline (one week before the first day of the term), the seminar will be canceled and all participants will be fully refunded. The instructor is required to teach the seminar if it reaches seven registrations prior to the early registration deadline. In some cases, a seminar may be offered with fewer than seven registrations at the option of the instructor.

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Reviews of Classes at The Newberry (4)

School: The Newberry

The Newberry

The Newberry is home to a world-class collection of books, manuscripts, maps, music, and other handmade and printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas. The collections span many centuries and feature items such as illuminated medieval manuscripts, rare early...

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