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Davis Schneiderman
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Davis Schneiderman’s recent works include the novels Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern) and Blank: a novel (Jaded Ibis). He is Associate Dean of the Faculty and Director of the Center for Chicago Programs at Lake Forest College. He lives in the Chicago area, with his wife and two daughters.

Entries by Davis Schneiderman

On My Father's Death from Brain Cancer: A Eulogy

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 2:11 PM

When a commenter at impersonated me and in doing so stated that my father -- a long-term brain cancer patient -- had died, I could not have known my father would indeed die several months later.

This is a shortened version of the eulogy I delivered at...

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On a Quarrel: David Shields and Caleb Powell Go Into a Cabin (With James Franco)

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 11:54 AM


Two writers argue. In the Woods. For a Week. And they record everything.

From this intriguing premise, David Shields and Caleb Powell produce a fascinating reality-show romp of a new book, and -- two years later -- a movie based upon the...

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My Brain Cancer Patient Father Is Still Alive, Despite the Claim of a Commenter

(2) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 12:46 PM

I thought my sister wanted me to do something. To say something.

To write something.

Lisa's text message asked whether I had commented at on the story of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old glioblastoma patient who moved to Oregon in order to legally choose assisted suicide. In...

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Father's Day Lessons From My Father, The Cancer Patient

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 2:02 PM

My father went away one day and someone else appeared in his place.

Eight-and-a-half years ago, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. On December 5, 2005, intense brain swelling stole much of his understanding in the span of hours; after surgery, followed by years of chemotherapy, the disease has...

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On the Studs Terkel Radio Archive: A Conversation With Tony Macaluso

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 3:01 PM


Studs Terkel is a Chicago institution, and he's ready for a reboot.

As one of the animating personalities in Thomas Dyja's excellent The Third Coast: How Chicago Built the American Dream, Dyja lovingly describes Studs' as the figure...

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Won't You Please Come to Chicago?: A Conversation With Thomas Dyja on The Third Coast

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 9:35 AM

Thomas Dyja's The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the America Dream (Penguin) is the most important Chicago-focused historical work in recent years. This is not least of all the case because of the argument Dyja effectively makes for the centrality of Chicago's cultural innovations and exports to the...

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11 Million Pomeranian Fans Can't Be Wrong: The Mystery of Boo, The World's Cutest Dog

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 10:53 AM

There are the 2,051,298 (yes, that's more than 2 million) Facebook fans currently talking about Boo, an Internet-generated sensation billed as "The World's Cutest Dog."

If you are neither a cute-dog lover nor a cute-dog lover who also happens to be my animal-obsessed 8-year daughter, Athena, you...

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Call Me (William) Burroughs: A Conversation with Barry Miles

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 8:05 PM

Barry Miles is a counterculture icon who writes about counterculture icons. He's a chronicler of the 1960s whose attention to its rhythms and rebellions took him from the famous Indica bookshop and gallery (as co-owner) --where John Lennon first met Yoko Ono -- to the founding of the...

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William S. Burroughs at 100: Exploding Five Major Myths

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 11:50 AM

William S. Burroughs, literary scourge of the banal and the boring, best known as the author of the still outrageous Naked Lunch (1959), would have turned 100 on February 5.

Whether as novelist, essayist, painter, filmmaker, recording artist, mystic, expatriate, psychological patient, Scientologist, Beat progenitor, plagiarist, punk music godfather,...

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Exposing Obscenity: The William S. Burroughs Century

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2014 | 4:01 PM

2014 marks the William S. Burroughs centennial, and with it, a cascade of celebrations both large and modest will attempt to commemorate, celebrate, and come to terms with a writer whose vast body of work remains dwarfed by a personal mythology so outsized that it all but obscures his output....

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When 39 Could Be the Last Year of Your Life

(1) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 5:34 PM

While mired this week in the 15 inches of snow covering the -45 degree wind-chill zone we took to calling #Chiberia (formerly Chicago), I began to consider my age.

I have one year left to me before the gruesome milestone of 40, where I must make my peace with...

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Open Letter to My Daughters for the Holiday Season and the End of the Year (2013)

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 12:43 PM

My Little Dreambugs,

Kallista you are 6, and Athena you are 7, and you are both far from little anymore.

Yet I can feel each year your slow-but-palpable transition from creatures who wonder at everything in the world as if it were a mystery, into young people who are shaped...

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What if Doctor Who Stopped JFK's Assassination?

(8) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 11:13 AM

Doctor Who is turning 50, this week, just in time for the adventuring Time Lord to save JFK while glibly reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.

Don't scoff. Why not?

After all, the Doctor's iconic police box ship, the TARDIS, moves in space and time. Therefore, it may shift...

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Open Letter to the Ghost of Lou Reed

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 5:58 PM

Dear Lou Reed's Ghost,

When I first discovered the Velvet Underground, somewhere around 18, somewhere in the half-space of my undergraduate years in State College, Pennsylvania, I had not yet discovered myself.

I didn't know, really, what the strange album with the banana cover -- The Velvet Underground and...

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Remembering Marcel Proust: A Conversation With Chicago's Aleksandar Hemon

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 4:08 PM

Dip a madeleine in tea.

Yes, because 2013 is the centennial of the original French publication of Marcel Proust's Du côté de chez Swann, or Swann's Way, the first volume of the massively delightful À la recherche du temps perdu, now translated as In Search of Lost Time.


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Marketing, Millennials, and Disruptive Consumers: A Conversation with Viacom's Ross Martin

(1) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 4:57 PM

As Executive Vice President of Viacom Media Networks and leader of Scratch, a "creative SWAT team," Ross Martin operates at the nuanced nexus of marketing, branding, advertising and youth culture.

The New York Times describes Martin as the "kind of figure who wouldn't attract a second glance...

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12 Reasons You Know You Are a Parent... of 6 and 7-Year-Old Girls

(9) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 9:26 AM

1. You launder all of your clothes together -- you've long stopped separating colors. You find in the pockets as many hair ties, hair clips, and Rainbow Loom rubber bands as a lucky 49er on a good day prospecting for gold. You delight in each multicolored piece. Because you are...

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Rich John/Poor John: The Return of Eliot Spitzer

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 1:08 PM

"This is what comptrolling is all about," remarks Comptroller Atkins, an occasional character from "The Simpsons."

What is it about though, really, for Eliot Spitzer?

Surely, Spitzer's recently announced campaign for the seemingly low-stakes office of New York City Comptroller is not meant to be...

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When the Jobs of Tomorrow Don't Exist Today: Jeff Selingo on College, Liberal Arts, and the Possible Future

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 2:45 PM

Jeff Selingo's new book, College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students (New Harvest, 2013), finds the editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education articulating the challenges to contemporary higher education.

Selingo suggests a field on the verge...

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On Brain Cancer, Ashtrays and Nostalgia

(6) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 2:28 PM

Olivia Newton-John's sister succumbed to brain cancer one month after her diagnosis.

My father, Phil Schneiderman, is a seven-year survivor, and I've had years to remember. My father, I recall, once had the precise memory of a chess player.

Yet, he never played chess seriously, and...

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