Karen Abbott, spoke with members of BookSpeak, a book club in the South Loop, via telephone last night. BookSpeak's April selection was the nonfiction bestseller about the infamous Everleigh Club located in Chicago's notorious Levee District.Sin in the Second City author,
At 7 p.m., BookSpeak leader, Jackie Walker, started the discussion and explained that each member present would be able to ask Abbott a question related to her book. After a few discussions and glasses of wine, Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA) president and BookSpeak member, Tina Feldstein, called the author.
For around 40 minutes, members asked Abbott: "Were Minna and Ada really sisters? Did they have any boyfriends--did they even like men? If they were living today, what business do you think they'd be in?"
Philly and Chicago have something in common
Much to everyone's delight, Abbott was an engaging and personable author. She did her best to answer members' questions and speculations. A Philadelphia native, Abbott told the group that "she loves Chicago" and it's welcoming spirit. She noted that the cities of brotherly love and big shoulders have a lot in common, not the least of which is political corruption. Abbott observed that Chicago residents are more interested in their city's history than those living in Philadelphia and New York. Abbott also talked about her current project, a biography of burlesque legend Gypsy Rose Lee, which will be released in January 2011.
The meeting ended around 8:15, but could have gone on much longer. One got the feeling Abbott would have been happy to continue the conversation. Before the group signed off with Abbott, she was invited to Chicago and promised a tour of the Prairie District and the other locations she wrote about in her book. Here's hoping she takes up BookSpeak's offer.
May's BookSpeak selection is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. De Rosnay's novel takes place in France during the Nazi occupation in 1942.