Heise Engages EHS Members in Chaos, Creativity and Culture

Vol. X No. 2 - SPRING/SUMMER 1999

By: Robert Remer

At the Saturday. March 13,1999 11th Annual Meeting, Edgewater Historical Society members enjoyed hearing Chicago author Kenan Heise discuss his latest book: “Chaos, Creativity-Lad Culture: A sampler of Chicago in the Twentieth Century”. Published in 1998 (Gibbs Smith), Heise’s book explores well beneath the exterior of Chicago’s culture and beyond just the familiar cultural icons to weave for the reader a pattern of cultural and historic chaos breeding the creativity which begets our culture.

Ever proud of his adopted Chicago. Heise was very enthusiastic discussing same of the better and lesser known contributors to Chicago’s architecture, dance, photography, literature, music and art.

He reminded the audience of three women novelists connected to Chicago during the period 1923-1932 who won Pulitzer Prizes. They are: Willa Cather for “One of Ours” in 1923; Edna Ferber for “So Big” in 1925; Margaret Ayers Barnes for “Years of Grace” in 1931. He noted that in 1926 when Sinclair Lewis refused the prize another Chicago author. Janet Ayer Fairbanks was officially announced as “second.” His report on these female novelists included some quotes that make you want to read more. The audience engaged the author with a number of questions showing their shared belief in a unique Chicago culture recognized around the world as creative and imaginative. Heise autographed books at the close of the discussion. Author of several books on Chicago, Heise is the owner of Chicago Historical Bookworks, 831 Main Street in Evanston. (847) 869-6410. He has been a frequent speaker at Edgewater Historical Society meetings over the past few years. We were delighted to welcome him back.