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UIC News: UIC authors at Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend

UIC News report highlights the LAS faculty who took part in the 2014 Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest this past weekend. UIC News reports:

Cris Mazza, author and UIC English professor, is not only a featured speaker at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest — she's also a big fan of the festival.

"Since it casts a wider net than other festivals and conferences I attend, it strengthens a sense of community, with other writers as well as readers," says Cris Mazzaprofiled in a May 16 Tribune preview of the fest as one of "five authors to watch."

About 150,000 literary enthusiasts crowded the South Loop this weekend for the 30th annual festival around Polk and Dearborn Streets.

Barbara Ransby, professor of African-American studies, history, and gender and women’s studies; Luis Alberto Urrea, professor of English and LAS distinguished professor; and John D'Emilio, professor of gender and women's studies and history were among the authors who spoke during the fest.

Mazza, director of the Program for Writers, says she likes the event for its singular focus on books, rather than some blend with film, art or stage performance.

"The early summer weather, being outdoors yet in a thriving city, it seems an atmosphere of great optimism," she says.

Mazza is the critically acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and collections of short fiction. Her first novel, How to Leave a Country (Coffee House Press), won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction.

Her latest book is Something Wrong with Her: A Real-Time Memoir. She spoke alongside Kristin Samuelson, RedEye newspaper managing editor.

Ransby was the featured author in conversation with DePaul University’s Amina Gautier.

Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson (Yale University Press) is the most recent book by Ransby, who directs UIC's Social Justice Initiative. She authored an award-winning biography of Ella Baker and is editor of Soulsa journal of black politics and culture.

Urrea moderated a conversation with Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans, and best-selling author Luanne Rice.

Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction, is the award-winning author of 15 books, including The Devil's HighwayThe Hummingbird's DaughterInto the Beautiful North and Queen of America. A 10th anniversary edition of the best-selling The Devil’s Highway (Hachette Book Group)  is scheduled for release next year.

D'Emilio discussed the collection of essays found in his latest book, In a New Century: Essays on Queer History, Politics and Community Life (University of Wisconsin Press), with University of Chicago’s Geoffrey Stone.

Source: UIC News' Brian Flood