The cover story of this week’s issue of Time Out Chicago, “Cultural Heroes,” includes five “page-turners“: Achy Obejas (Days of Awe), Stuart Dybek (I Sailed with Magellan), Joe Meno (The Boy Detective Fails), Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project), and Alex Kotlowitz (The Other Side of the River). (Check it out–five literary stars, five starred reviews.) Obejas and Kotlowitz are captured on video, too, and the Obejas segment is worth watching for her first-hand account of a momentous night in Chicago politics.
It’s a tribute to Studs that his work has inspired artists outside of the printed word or his other natural medium, radio. Daniel Kraus has begun a series of films directly inspired by Studs’s seminal book, Working. Though he doesn’t interview his subjects, Kraus creates portraits of various kinds of laborers.
“[Studs], along with filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, opened my eyes to the mini drama of agony and inspiration that is any person’s daily life,” says Kraus. “I don’t do interviews with the Work Series, but nevertheless, Studs taught me to get out of the way.”
And as Kraus says, Studs’s legacy will only continue to grow.
“I think his legacy is only just beginning to be realized,” he says. “He has created an archive of America, and the usefulness of such an archive will only increase over time. If I just end up as a footnote in a Studs biography some day, I can live with that.”
And while we’re on the topic of Booklisters in Time Out Chicago, I may as well mention that I recently made an appearance in “Back of the Book,” the new TOC arts podcast. The subject was politics, so naturally I read a scene about a metal show. I get confused sometimes. I know you’ll still want to subscribe to the podcast.