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Award-Winning Writer Alex Kotlowitz to Give Reading

January 16, 2007 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “There Are No Children Here” was described as “a national event” as much as a bestseller when the award-winning book by Alex Kotlowitz was published in 1991. On Monday, Jan. 22, Kotlowitz will give a reading from this and other works of nonfiction at Northwestern University.

The event, called “Readings from Nonfiction and Various Projects,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Room 108 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road, on the University's Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Kotlowitz has long focused on issues of race, urban affairs and children. “There Are No Children Here,” which traced the lives of brothers growing up in a Chicago housing project, grew out of a series on poverty he wrote as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

The book sparked a national discussion about the realities of life for the children of America's inner cities. It is included on the New York Library's list of the 150 most important books of the 20th century and was adapted as a made-for-TV movie by Oprah Winfrey.

In “The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death and America's Dilemma,” Kotlowitz wrote about the racially charged death of a Michigan teenager. “Never a City So Real” is an ode to Chicago, his adopted hometown, and the people who live there.

Kotlowitz -- visiting writer-in-residence at Northwestern's Center for the Writing Arts and senior lecturer at the Medill School -- is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and to public radio's “This American Life.” With Amy Dorn, he co-authored “An Unobstructed View,” a play that premiered in 2005.

He has received a Peabody Award for his work in radio and, among numerous awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the George Polk Award, Carl Sandburg Award, Christopher Award and the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism for his nonfiction. New York's Catholic Interracial Council honored him with the LaFarge Memorial Award for Interracial Justice.

For information about his reading, call (847) 467-4099 or visit the Center for Writing Arts Web site at http://www.northwestern.edu/writing-arts/.

Topics: Campus Life