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Hot Stacks Summer is a Chicago magazine

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Marry ketchup

Jennifer Close
April 26

Close, who grew up in the North Shore, has the ability to write novels depicting families in the worst condition. Marry ketchup tells the story of the Sullivan clan in Oak Park after three stunning events: victory in the Cubs World Series, the election of Donald Trump and the death of Bud, the family’s patriarch and favorite hamburger founder.

A worthy work

Michael Hines
May 17

The Stanford professor traces the “extra units” of Chicago educator 1940s Madeline Morgan, who taught public school students about the Black Diaspora, Middle Passage, and slave uprisings. The fate of her curricula, discontinued by Cold War conservatism, is especially relevant today amid moral panic over critical racial theory.

An offer they cannot refuse

Natalie Kanya
May 24

Humboldt Park, which is rapidly evolving, has become the backdrop for this debut novel, a story of enemies for lovers about a Puerto Rican chef and an Irish-American whiskey distiller forced to fake an engagement through his intervention abuelo and grandfather. Chaos ensues – and, not surprisingly, romance. Fans will be happy to hear that this is the first in a planned trilogy that Kanya describes as “trapezoidal”.

Last summer on State Street

Written by Toya Wolfe
June 14

Robert Taylor’s house on the South Side, where Wolfe grew up, is featured in her debut novel. The action takes place in 1999, after teenager Fe Fe as a high-rise building, which her family calls home, is facing demolition. This introspective, thorough work explores the point where public policy and life touch.

Defeated Icarus

David Khan
June 15

With subtitles The 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, the Golden Age of Aviation and the Rise of Fascism, this book by a New York High School history teacher exhibits an exposition that brought Italian and German experts here to praise zeppelins and airplanes as technology that will change humanity. Soon it happened: Hannah describes the flight of fascism in the United States and abroad.

Crying in the bathroom

Erica L. Sanchez
July 12

A native of Cicero and a DePolo professor, she continues her tumultuous writing career with these memoirs in essays on sex, depression and childhood in the 90s as the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants. This is the spiritual sequel to her 2017 YA novel I am not your perfect Mexican daughterworking as a feature of Netflix and America’s Ferrari directorial debut.

Mount Chicago

Adam Levin
August 9th

Levin’s third novel, set in post-apocalyptic Chicago, combines natural disaster, Judaism and stand-up comedy in a disturbing, timely frenzy. Fans of Instructions and Chewing gum learns awkward Illinois, which often serves as a backdrop for his fiction. (The author, who now lives in Florida, grew up in Buffalo Grove and Highland Park.) Levin’s sci-fi sensibility enlivens an alternative version of Chicago.

No more police: case for cancellation

Mariam Kaba and Andrea J. Richie
August 30th

Kaba, an activist, is joining forces with Richie, a lawyer on non-compliance with police duties, to call for the abolition of the police and make a plan for what will happen next. Kaba moved to Chicago in 1995 and spent the next two decades organizing in the city, founding advocacy groups such as Survived and Punished and Chicago Freedom School. No more police.

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