The Life and Death of Nelson Algren - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago, Illinois

The Life and Death of Nelson Algren

A performance in honor of the underappreciated writer, Nelson Algren, alongside a seance in the neighborhood in which he spent his final years.

Nelson Algren is one of Chicago’s often forgotten 20th-century writers, and was proclaimed one of the best-known writers in America during the 1940s and 50s. He was best known for his 1950 novel, The Man With the Golden Arm, and was not shy about his anger toward machine politics and moneyed interests, or his love for the White Sox.

From 1959 to 1979, Algren resided in a red stone three-flat in Wicker Park, creating literary works and spending time with his cat. He was ultimately chased out by gangs and arson, but left his mark in the city with his work, and is now recognized by a memorial plaque.

The Drinking and Writing Theater, a Chicago-based theater group with a keen knowledge of historical writers (and drinking!), will teach us about Algren's days before death as well and guide the Atlas Obscura audience through an attempt to contact Algren in the afterlife.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

  • Bring walking shoes and a warm coat, as this seance might take us outside of the realm of our cozy book cafe.
  • Refreshments (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available for purchase at Volumes Bookcafe with cash or card. 
  • There is no dedicated parking available. 
  • This event is suitable for attendees of all ages.

QUESTIONS?

Email Kirby Barth at kirby.barth@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.