Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras


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Wicker Park Fest, Day 2

So…today Chicago faces isolated thunderstorms and another +90 degree day. Yesterday a crowd of a few hundred stood before the main stage at Wicker Park Fest and sang Que Sera Sera along with a band, this while battleship-gray thunderheads approached. The sky opened. Lightning struck. Adults and children danced. It was beautiful.

Also, some came around Volumes Book Cafe to cool down, grab a drink, then purchase and have their copies of The Fugue signed. I spoke to readers from as far away as Germany and Puerto Rico (and Madison, Wisconsin…and Laredo, Texas…and Aurora, Illinois…and a town in Maine whose name I will never remember).

I’ll be at Volumes again today (er…at an indoor table). Come check out Chicago’s newest bookstore between points of festival frolic. 1474 N Milwaukee Avenue. There’s a chance I might sell out before 4:00, as we have a limited amount of copies left.

 

Come grab one of these copies before they’re gone

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What are people saying about The Fugue?

“Magisterial…like Dostoevsky…” (Chicago Tribune)

“A welcome addition to the bookshelf of Chicago authors…” (WGN Radio)

“A masterpiece of literary fiction…” (Centered on Books)


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Wicker Park Fest: signing and selling books in the heat!

If you’ve been meaning to get a copy of The Fugue and would like to meet me in person, this weekend is a great chance.

It’s Wicker Park Fest, and Volumes Book Cafe is doing a number of things, including hosting live acoustic musicians and letting me chat with customers. I might be inside or outside in the tent, depending on the hour, but you’re sure to find me if you come between 1:00-4:00 today and tomorrow (July 23, 24).

Volumes Book Cafe is at 1474 N Milwaukee. Wicker Park Fest is one of America’s very best outdoor street festivals. It features food vendors, live music, arts and crafts and fun for everyone. Come buy a book and hang out in the heat.

Have yet to hear of The Fugue? The Chicago Tribune compared it to Dostoevsky and called it “magisterial”.

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Resignation letter

“At the national level, the delusions necessary to sustain our Cold War coalition were becoming dangerous long before Donald Trump arrived. From tax policy to climate change, we have found ourselves less at odds with philosophical rivals than with the fundamentals of math, science and objective reality.”

GOPLifer

Yesterday I resigned my position in the York Township Republican Committeemen’s Organization. Below is the letter I sent to the chairman explaining my decision.

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Chairman Cuzzone:

We come together in political parties to magnify our influence. An organized representative institution can give weight to our will in ways we could not accomplish on our own. Working with others gives us power, but at the cost of constant, calculated compromise. No two people will agree on everything. There is no moral purity in politics.

If compromise is the key to healthy politics, how does one respond when compromise descends into complicity? To preserve a sense of our personal moral accountability we must each define boundaries. For those boundaries to have meaning we must have the courage to protect them, even when the cost is high.

Almost thirty years ago as a teenager in Texas, I attended my first county Republican…

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New essay published

The good folks at ReImagining Magazine have published their summer issue. My essay, An American Imposter, finds itself there.

I spent a long time abroad this spring and summer, and got tired of having to “explain” my American identity. It got to the point that I no longer wanted to talk to strangers about where I was from. It became impossible to have conversations about anything besides our loathsome national politics.

The experience inspired this essay. Hope you’ll read and share. 


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A visit to Tribune Tower

So…I got to talk to Rick Kogan on WGN Radio last night. It was an extraordinary experience, and I have more to say about it than I’ll be able to include in a short blog post.

Rick Kogan is a journalist and radio personality with almost six decades of experience covering Chicago. He has spoken to and written books about idols of mine, and when it comes to the subject of Chicago, is clearly among the most knowledgeable people alive. To have sat in a studio chair next to him equals one of the most fucking amazing experiences of my life. To hear him call my book Algren-esque, Dostoevsky-esque and Dybek-esque on the air left a strange, giddy tremble in my hands that has yet to go away.

It was also humbling and head-spinning to find myself in the Tribune Tower. While I had walked past the building countless times, I had never been inside. Yesterday, I rode my bike down Madison from Oak Park, past the former site of Fort Dearborn, over the Chicago River, then I walked up to the tower with a sense of awe and connectedness to the history of my city. So many great people (and, to be fair, some extraordinary and colorful assholes) had walked through those doors and worked in that building.

I’ll say it was equally exhilarating and intimidating to step up to the receptionist and let her know I was scheduled to talk on the radio. I thought only babble or drool might exit my mouth once someone gave me a microphone. But it all worked out. You can listen here, and please do share with the book lovers in your live.

Some photos:

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I’ll be on WGN!

Tomorrow, June 26th, I’ll be on “After Hours with Rick Kogan” on Chicago’s WGN radio.

I’m slated to speak beginning at 10:00 PM local (CDT) time. Chicago’s -5 GMT right now. If you’re in Amsterdam, I’ll be on at 5:00 AM. If you’re in Vilnius or Odessa, I’m on at 6:00 AM. Yes…I believe there will be a podcast.

If you’re in the Chicago area, just tune in to 720 AM. Internet users, you can listen live here.

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Photo courtesy of WGN.

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