Posts tagged “chicago’s nelson algren”
March 28, 2013
Our longtime readers will remember that Seven Stories Press derived its name from the seven authors whose works were the foundation of our catalog from the outset. We love each and every one of our authors, but we hold a special place in our heart for the late Nelson Algren, the brilliant author of The Man With the Golden Arm, The Devil’s Stocking, and much more, whose death in 1981 left a hollow place in American literature. He was born on March 28th, 1909, and today would have been his 104th birthday.
Born Nelson Algren Abraham in Detroit, Algren wrote his first story, “So Help Me,” in 1933, and won his first award–an O. Henry prize for his short story “The Brother’s House”–two years later, in 1935. The same year, he also published his first book, Somebody in Boots, which he later disowned, saying that it was politically naive. Algren is certainly best known for The Man With the Golden Arm, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1950 and was adapted into a film starring Frank Sinatra in 1955 (which Algren abhorred).
September 8, 2009Some big Swans fans don't like the past joy I've taken in killing Nazi fliers in the real war. Next month I'll be at the head table of a reunion of 9 survivors of the infamous Kassel mission — 35 B-24s went out, 4 of us returned. . . Ira goes back to Germany every two years and has dinner with the German Luftwaffe crews who shot him down that fatal day. (Farmers forced him to bury five of his crew members who couldn't get out of their burning Lib fast enough.) I could never bring myself to break bread with these people, even though they vas obeying orders, as was I. My play, Where Have You Gone, Jimmy Stewart? (Jimmy was my Squadron commander), which ran in Chicago three years ago, made that point to great applause. As somebody on Swans has reminded me, all war is immoral. — from Art Shay's review, "Sick Glourious Basterds", at Swans.com
August 25, 2009"He was shaving when the president called," Margaret McNamara said, letting me and my Times photo gear into their Birmingham, Michigan, livingroom. "We were drinking Martinis. Do you want one while you're setting up? I know you met him at Ford in 1953. He loves the book you did and your picture of him in Fortune. That's why he took your call. You said the magic word — Ford." Sitting next to the warm fluttering lady whose life was about to transfer to Washington forever (to do much for needy children, as it turned out) I sweated cold for no discernible reason. I mindlessly thought the arcane word: doom. I would be right, eventually, because this precise moment in this precise man's precise life, far from anything I'd precisely learned going to war instead of college would be the infant step leading to McNamara's ultimate march of 56,000 kids like yours and mine to death. So much for taking violent evasive action based on prescient knowledge. . . — from Art Shay's Snapshot of a Strange (Love?) Before His Time, at swans.com
March 24, 2009Once a month it is my fate to receive in the mail at least one 11x14-inch envelope crammed full of some amateur photographer's black and white prints. Now that digital is here, color has been added. Typical letter: "I don't know if you remember me. I was at your recent gallery opening -- you posed for my Leica and the print is enclosed -- I can Photoshop your chin if you want me to...I recently have returned from a trip to my mother-in-law, who lives in Washington, DC. As you can see from my pictures, I spent a lot of time trying to get the Washington Monument into the same picture as the Lincoln statue. Do you think I have what it takes to go on and become a photographer for National Geographic, where I could combine my love for traveling with my newly discovered interest in photography? ... " The main trouble with his pictures was that Martin Luther King and 200,000 others were absent from the frames. Also, for a buck you could have bought better postcards.