Does Chicago Lack a ‘Recognizable Narrative’?

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.09.09 | 3:26 PM ET

Over at The Smart Set, Jessa Crispin speculates about what her one-time hometown means to the outside world. She writes:

Because Chicago has no new compelling storyline, the old ones will have to do for the rest of the world. Even the renowned literary magazine Granta—after spending who knows how long creating its recent issue devoted entirely to Chicago—used Al Capone as its first example of what defines Chicago in the issue’s introduction.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Does Chicago Lack a ‘Recognizable Narrative’?

John Freeman 10.09.09 | 7:35 PM ET

Actually, Jessa’s statement is not entirely accurate. I mentioned Al Capone in a video introduction to Granta’s Chicago issue as an example of the sort of mythology which has been associated with Chicago, not as a defining characteristic, and the purpose of our issue was not to re-spin these old chestnuts about Chicago but rather reveal how much more there is to the city, as you can see in writers like Aleksandar Hemon, Maria Venegas, Stuart Dybek and Thom Jones, among others.

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