Monday, May 07, 2012

What is Gary Krist reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels.

His entry begins:
Right now I’m reading Stanley Karnow’s Paris in the Fifties. Karnow is a legendary journalist whose works on Vietnam, the Philippines, and China are monuments of historical reportage. In this memoir about his early days as a TIME correspondent in France, he’s in a lighter, more personal mode, as he reports on everything from the Parisian literary scene to the city’s demimonde of prostitutes, exotic dancers, and strip-tease artists (not to mention the frequent overlaps between those two worlds). I once had dinner with Karnow at a Chinese restaurant in DC, and it was...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
The masterfully told story of twelve volatile days in the life of Chicago, when an aviation disaster, a race riot, a crippling transit strike, and a sensational child murder transfixed and roiled a city already on the brink of collapse.

When 1919 began, the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation. Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World." But just as the dream seemed within reach, pandemonium broke loose and the city's highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the same unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place.

It began on a balmy Monday afternoon when a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside. Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded South Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city. Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a six-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark North Side basement.

Meticulously researched and expertly paced, City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city, with all of its light and dark aspects in vivid relief.
Learn more about the book and author at Gary Krist's website.

Before turning to narrative nonfiction with The White Cascade and City of Scoundrels, Krist wrote three novels--Bad Chemistry, Chaos Theory, and Extravagance--and two short-story collections--The Garden State and Bone by Bone.

The Page 69 Test: The White Cascade.

Writers Read: Gary Krist.

--Marshal Zeringue