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Features

Celebrating Vivian Maier, unsung street photographer

Five years after her death and the discovery of her cache of images in a storage locker, a show of photography by a Chicago nanny will be mounted at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library March 29. A documentary of her life and work, “Finding Vivian Maier,” opens in Chicago April 4.
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Leveling the playing field even more

Forty years ago this month, President Richard Nixon signed legislation that broke open the nation’s playing fields and arenas to young women. A generation later, many of those same women are running sports-related businesses, trying to complete the work that started when they were children.
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From muggle to media mogul by age 25

At age 12, media entrepreneur Emerson Spartz persuaded his parents to let him and his 10-year-old brother, Dylan, quit school. His parents agreed, as long as the boys read widely, including four magazine-length bios of successful people per day. Freed from other homework, the seventh-grade dropout turned his attention to his passion, the Harry Potter books, and created what would become the series’ No. 1 fan site, Mugglenet.com.
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Director Zimmerman finds source material in unlikely places

As a child, Mary Zimmerman came upon a rehearsal of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the woods behind her parents’ home in Hampstead Garden, England. Music spilled from a gramophone. Oberon ran in circles beside the other characters, then stopped abruptly and asked, “How many times do I go around?”
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In the blog

Doesn’t matter if it’s balmy (ahhh, Florida in December) or bitterly cold (Chiberia, Day 2): either place you’ll find my head in a book. I’ve read some really good ones lately. No duds. First, Dave Eggers’ The Circle. I loved Eggers’ last, A Hologram for the King. That’s the kind of reader I am, like

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Dan Chaon’s “Await Your Reply” (2009) is a beautifully told and highly compelling tale about identity: losing one, stealing others, gaining another (and another, and another). It’s rare that I finish a book and want to start reading it again, to figure out how the author pulled off such a clever feat of storytelling. This

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Most recently I read and enjoyed Ian McEwan’s Nutshell, a modern Hamlet narrated by a full-term fetus. Trudy, the pregnant mother, has dismissed her poet husband John from his childhood home, a crumbling mansion in a fashionable part of London. Taking his place? His brother Claude. Together, Trudy and Claude conspire to murder John Cairncross,

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