Monthly Archive for January, 2008

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Elizabeth Crane reads from You Must Be This Happy to Enter at Quimby’s!

Feb ’08
7:00 pm


Join Elizabeth Crane for her hometown launch event, as she reads from her new book You Must Be This Happy to Enter.

Denial, god, dystopia, academia, and reality TV collide in acclaimed author Crane’s third story collection, and the latest installment from Akashic’s Punk Planet Books imprint.

“Crane has a distinctive and eccentric voice that is consistent and riveting.”
New York Times Book Review

“Crane is funny, even when her subject is pain . . . There’s an energy and immediacy to [her] stories that make them feel as if they could have been delivered in one beautiful, raw rant over a bottle of wine. A night reading them is well spent.”
–Entertainment Weekly

Whether breathlessly enthusiastic serenely calm, or really concentrating on their personal zombie issues, Crane’s happy cast explore the complexities behind personal satisfaction. You Must Be This Happy to Enter exists in a world very much like our own but infused with more joy and magic. It’s a place where the happy are jailed, the sincere cause confusion, and pop culture so seamlessly melds with real life that characters can walk right out of the television and come live with you.

Crane’s third collection, aims to convey something fresh in literature: utter sincerity. With a trademark mix of hyperreality, humor, and heartfelt emotion, You Must Be This Happy to Enter asks readers to connect with the loopy ways of her characters. Because even though they’re occasionally severed from reality, they still seem to know something you don’t about keeping upbeat in a strange and crumbling environment.

ELIZABETH CRANE is the author of two previous story collections, When the Messenger Is Hot and All This Heavenly Glory. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the Chicago Reader and The Believer, as well as several anthologies, including McSweeney’s Future Dictionary of America and The Best Underground Fiction. A winner of the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, Crane teaches creative writing at Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, the School of the Art Institute, and the University of Chicago. She lives in Chicago.

Neal Pollack reads Alternadad at Quimby’s!

Feb ’08
7:00 pm

Neal Pollack reads Alternadad at Quimby’s!

Thursday, February 21th, 7:00 PM

A few years ago, Neal Pollack was probably the least likely father you’ve ever met: a pop-culture-obsessed writer and self-styled party guy known mostly for outrageous literary antics. In typical fashion, he responded to the birth of his son by forming a mediocre rock band and taking it on tour. Now, in Alternadad, he tells the hilarious and poignant story of how he learned to be a father to his son, Elijah, after the failure of his short-lived rock ’n’ roll dreams.

Pollack and his wife, Regina, were determined to raise their son without growing up too much themselves. They welcomed the responsibility but were worried that they’d become uptight and out of touch. Through the ups and downs of the first years of their son’s life their determination is put to the test, and they find themselves changing in ways they never expected, particularly after Elijah develops a biting problem in preschool.

Alternadad is a refreshingly honest book about the wonders, terrors, and idiocies of parenting today. From enrolling his son in an absurd corporate gymnastics class to a disastrous visit to a rock festival to uncomfortable encounters with other parents whom he’d ordinarily avoid, Pollack candidly explores the everyday struggles and the long-term compromises that come with parenthood.

Mixing ironic skepticism with an appreciation for the absurdities of everyday life, Alternadad is a portrait of a new version of the American family: responsible if unorthodox parents raising kids who know the difference between the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Wildly funny, surprising, and often moving, it just might be the parenting bible for a new generation of mothers and fathers.

Neal Pollack will give a lively talk, read a little form the book, take questions, and then sign copies of the books if anyone so desires.

About the Author

Neal Pollack is the author of several acclaimed books of satirical fiction, including The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature and the novel Never Mind the Pollacks. A contributor to many magazines, newspapers, and Web sites, he also keeps a semidaily blog at He lives in Los Angeles with his family.


Aaron Christensen reads from Horror 101 at Quimby’s!

Feb ’08
7:00 pm

Aaron Christensen reads from Horror 101 at Quimby’s!

Monday, February 18th, 7:00 PM

“Bringing a refreshingly egalitarian approach to the subject, Horror 101 collects musings on our favorite chillers not by the expected assortment of critics and filmmakers, but the audience – the fans themselves. Young and old, male and female, located all over the globe.  From Alien through The Wicker Man, each entry brings a breath of fresh air to the consideration of seminal movies many of us thought had been analyzed to death. As editor Aaron Christensen puts it, “Keep America strong! Watch more monster movies!”

— Joe Dante, director, The Howling, Pirahna, Gremlins

Join the editor of Horror 101 Vol 1, Aaron Christensen as he talks about how the book came to be, the recruiting of the various contributors and the selection of the films that make up Horror 101.  Aaron will lead a discussion about the evolution of the horror genre, and why the films listed in Horror 101 are significant in that evolution. He will cover where the horror genre has been, where it currently stands now, and where it’s heading in the next 5-10 years. Along with answering any questions Aaron will be on hand to sign copies of the book too.

Aaron is a professional, Chicago-based actor who has been a horror fan throughout his life.  In addition to having seen over 1,500 creature features, gorefests and fright flicks, his literary work has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and Midnight Marquee, as well as online at Kitleys Krypt and the Horror 101 with Dr. AC website.

More info at the Horror 101 website:

New Stuff 1/19/08

Well the deep freeze has set in on Chicago. But we still got that new hotness you need to thaw out your brain, combat cabin fever, and get that crazy blood circulating.

Continue reading ‘New Stuff 1/19/08’

Free Shit – ANP Quarterly #9

Atten-shun! A new issue of the uber-hip, full color, giant-sized visual arts extravaganza known as the ANP Quarterly dropped into Quimby’s the other day. Coming out of RVCA and edited by Ed Templeton, the ANP  is easily one of the best visual arts zines kicking around today. The best part about it is the price: it’s totally free.  This issue has Harmony Korine and Yoda on the cover. Also featured are Tomoo Gokita, Leigh Ledare, Uta Barth, and Ashley Macomber, among others.  Be sure to come by and pick up a copy if you’re in the hood.