A New Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron

As a Jane Austen fan, I was happy to interview Stephanie Barron, author of 13 Jane Austen mysteries including her most recent Jane and the Waterloo Map and Jane Austen and the 12 Days of Christmas, who was in Chicago last Saturday for a book event. “Jane and the Waterloo Map is set in November, 1815,…

My Journey from Shame to Strength: A Memoir by Liz Pryor

Bundled into a car during a winter storm, 17-year-old Liz Pryor left her home in Winnetka with her mother to what she thought was a Catholic home for pregnant teenagers. Instead, Pryor found herself in a locked government-run facility filled with impoverished delinquent girls whose experiences and backgrounds were totally different than hers. Over the…

Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the US Film Industry

When California was still all about oranges, Chicago ruled when it came to movies—a brief but glorious decade where local girl Gloria Swanson earned money as an extra to pay for pickles (of all things) before moving on to stardom, becoming Joe Kennedy’s mistress and then later the fading actress in the classic Sunset Boulevard….