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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame to Induct Nella Larsen, Bette Howland and Finley Peter Dunne

On Tuesday, July 11th, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will induct its 14th class comprised of Nella LarsenBette Howland, and Finley Peter Dunne at a ceremony to be held at the Chopin Theatre (1543 West Division). The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Our site's founder and namesake, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, was inducted posthumously in 2017.

Nella Larsen, born in 1868, published just two novels in her lifetime, but regard for her work has only increased over the decades. A librarian and active part of Harlem's interracial arts scene, Larsen received critical acclaim for both novels, in particular 1928's "Quicksand," an exploration of cross-cultural and interracial themes set partly in Chicago. Larsen's 1929 novel, "Passing," was made into a film directed by Rebecca Hall, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. It was produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi and executive produced by, among others, Chaz Ebert, this site's publisher. 

A MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Bette Howland's relatively small output, like Larsen's, made a vital, lasting impact. Her debut effort, the 1974 memoir "W-3," details her experiences as a patient in a Chicago hospital's psychiatric wing.

Finley Peter Dunne, a celebrated Chicago newspaper columnist, won over legions of fans with his creation Martin Dooley, a South Side, Irish saloonkeeper who espouses wisdom and wit on any variety of current events and socially significant themes. Eight volumes of Dunne's Dooley sketches were reprinted in book form.

Emcee J-L Deher-Lesaint will lead a speaking lineup that includes Chaz Ebert, who will participate in a reading of Larsen's work. Among the other scheduled speakers are Brad ArmacostMartha BayneCat Evans, Mike HoulihanJennifer SmithJames R. Sullivan, and Rachel Swearingen as well as Howland's sons, Jacob and Frank Howland.

Doors open at 5pm, and appetizers as well as a cash bar will be provided. You can get more information and register for the event at their official website here.

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