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Cultural criticIf an engine can be a hybrid, why not a book? "A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos" (Walker), the new work by science writer Dava Sobel, author of "Longitude" (1995) and "Galileo's Daughter" (2000) is half-narrative, half-...
Tags: Galileo Galilei, Astronomy, Science
When your 5-year-old daughter wants to play "I Spy" and says, "I spy with my little eye ..." and decides that her mystery object starts with a "B," and then she points to a bar — one of the iron bars on the door of a jail cell — you know you'...
Cultural criticHe was a man in motion — the beautifully controlled fury of a great athlete. How, though, to convey that energy and grit and grace on the flat page of a graphic novel? How to suggest the up-and-at-'em vigor of a Roberto Clemente in a venue that...
The late John Updike once opined that we are all "trapped in solitary confinement inside our own skins." We can't ever really know what someone else is feeling, no matter how hard we try or how desperately she or he wants us to. Our unique souls are...
A good anthology is like a dartboard in a crowded bar on a Saturday night. Everybody lines up to take their best shot. Everybody wants the chance to squint, aim and let fly. The more august and monumental and definitive-seeming the anthology —...
Tags: Rita Dove, Marianne Moore, Gertrude Stein, Poetry, Maya Angelou
Cultural criticIn the sporting world, there is something called the "make-up call." Umpires and referees deny it exists, but the idea is that when they blow a call — and the crowd is always happy to point out when this has occurred, employing the time-honored...
From Walter Payton to John Matusak, the great ones return in former Chicago sportswriter's new collectionCultural criticSportswriting is one of those professions that looks easy – all you do is watch a game and sling an opinion, right? – but is actually quite difficult precisely because of that apparent ease. Opinions are a dime a dozen. Being able to...
Modern psychiatry has robbed the world of its monsters. We know so much more about the brain, about the complex interaction of chemicals that determines an individual's fate, than ever before. Thus to look upon a heinous act and attribute it to...
First-person singular: 'Hemingway's Boat' gets to the rugged heart of a complicated, captivating manCultural criticEvery writer has two lives: The life that contains elements common to all lives — birth and death and everything in between — and a second life. The second life is another thing entirely. It consists of the world's reaction to the writer's...
If you want to make Stephen Sondheim mad enough to swat you over the head with a rolled-up musical score, try this: Call him a poet. As Sondheim insists in interviews, essays and in the introduction to his book "Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics...
Cultural criticTake a beloved book, turn it into a film – and take cover, because the millions who adore the book will come out swinging. Their affection makes them protective. Love makes them loyal – and ready to punch anyone who messes with the object of...
It's time for the travel two-step: First, deciding where in the world you'd like to go for your summer vacation. Second, finding the perfect travel guide to accompany you. I've been known to stand in a bookstore aisle for long agonizing stretches, reading...
Tags: History, Health, Treaties, Book, Trips and Vacations
Oct 14, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Jul 8, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Jul 1, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Oct 13, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Oct 21, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Oct 19, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Oct 26, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Oct 28, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Oct 28, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Oct 31, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Jul 15, 2011 |Story| Chicago Tribune
Jul 15, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Original site for Julia Keller topic gallery.