Chicago connection: April 2008 Archives

Local writer gets Edgar nod

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Chicago-based author Jon Lellenberg, along with his co-authors Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley, was recently nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for a 2008 Edgar Award in the Best Critical/Biographical category for Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters (Penguin Press, $37.95)


Publisher's Weekly had this to say: "This fascinating collection of previously unpublished letters from the creator of Sherlock Holmes offers a revealing glimpse of a Renaissance man fated to be overshadowed by his most famous character. Beginning with correspondence from Doyle as an eight-year-old in 1867, the editors offer a warts-and-all picture of his life until 1920, 10 years before his death, covering the author's frank accounts of life at a boarding school, his struggles as a young doctor and aspiring writer, and his political advocacy. This will be essential reading for all fans of Conan Doyle and his sleuth."

The Edgar Awards —named after Edgar Allan Poe, of course — "are considered the Oscars of the mystery genre." The award ceremony will take place May 1 in New York. For more information:

The Outfit on Chandler

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As part of the One Book, One Chicago program, The Outfit, a group of area crime fiction authors, has been asked to write about different aspects of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. The group began blogging about the book yesterday and will continue through the next two weeks. Sara Paretsky started things off. Check it out.

Other members of The Outfit include Sean Chercover, Barbara D'Amato, Michael Allen Dymmoch, Kevin Guilfoile, Libby Fischer Hellmann and Marcus Sakey. Several members have new books out:

Paretsky: Bleeding Kansas (Putnam, $25.95)
Sakey: At the City's Edge (St. Martin's, $24.95)
Dymmoch: M.I.A. (Thomas Dunne, $24.95)
Hellmann: Easy Innocence (Bleak House, $14.95)

Pamela Anderson reads!

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Check this out. Bikini-clad Pamela Anderson is caught on camera reading local author Anne Elizabeth Moore's book, Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity.

Congratulations to Chicago author Dwight Okita, who you might remember from a March 19 posting on this blog. Okita was one of 10 finalists in's Breakthough Novel contest, in which the public voted for the winner.

Dwight Okita

Okita didn't win for his book, The Prospect of My Arrival, but he did get enough votes to make the Top 3, who were all flown to New York for the awards ceremony. The winner was Bill Loehfelm, for his book, Fresh Kills, about an estranged son struggling to find his father's killer and make peace with the past.

Here's a note Okita sent out to his supporters last night:

Hi all,

As some of you know, I got the exciting phone call from Amazon telling me that I had made it to the Top 3 in the novel contest! They flew us to New York last weekend for the awards ceremony. Though I didn't win the publishing deal, I made many great connections in the business and hope to find a happy ending to my novel yet. Thanks to everyone for their support of my novel. More to come later.


And here is what Publisher's Weekly had to say about Okita's book:

In Chicago of 2025, the experimental Pre-Born Project at the Infinity Medical Center has inserted the consciousness of a fetus into the unoccupied body of a 30-year-old man, who will visit seven Referrals before deciding whether he chooses to be born. In lesser hands, this odd premise might have veered into political diatribe or slapstick. Instead, the protagonist, called Prospect, takes the reader on an engrossing and moving journey into the meaning of life, filled with fresh observations and memorable characters. Addressing the reader with a voice that skillfully blends innocence and wisdom, this latter-day Candide discovers unexpected connections among his Referrals and lands in jeopardy that keeps the pages turning until its satisfying and touching conclusion. The reader will find many insights and turns of phrase (curtains that "move like jellyfish in the summer breeze") to savor along the way.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Chicago connection category from April 2008.

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