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CHICAGO — Nelson Algren will not go away. Although he moved from Chicago in 1975 and died in 1981, he has managed to remain a frequent visitor, in the form of his famous novels, of course, but also in other ways that have given him a strange form of immortality. Before telling you of the latest Algren appearance, which is a fine book titled “The Short Writings of Nelson Algren: A Study of the ...

FICTION: Three siblings make their way in the world after their mother's hospitalization. "Commitment" by Mona Simpson; Alfred A. Knopf (384 pages, $29) ——— In the broader culture of the American family, every family is its own subculture, and the one mapped in Mona Simpson's novel "Commitment" manages to be both a model of the intricate network of familiar coordinates — love, money, art, work ...

NONFICTION: An enlightening look at American political scandals in the 1920s, which continue to shape how politics is played to this day. "Crooked" by Nathan Masters; Hachette Books (384 pages, $30) ——— Despite our compulsion for appending "-gate" onto every governmental misstep, Watergate was not our first scandal and Richard Nixon was not the first politician to abuse his office. As Nathan ...

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