Selected Articles

The Great American Novelty  JD Ma can get it made for you in China, whatever it is. His latest product and biggest bet yet is the Z-Hanger. Originally published August 2009 in Chicago magazine; excerpted in The Week September 3, 2009.

The Terkel Rules  On translating taped conversations into readable prose, based on an interview with Studs Terkel, the master of the form. Published in the Chicago Reader October 31 2008. 

Toward More Perfect Pork  Pig farmer Greg Gunthorp saved his bacon by learning to sell to high-end Chicago restaurants. Published under the title “Hello Beautiful” in Chicago Magazine June 2008.

Four Ways to Walk a Dog  Philosophies of Dog Training, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly April 1986; National Magazine Award finalist.

The Essence of Beeing  An article on bees and beekeeping published in the Chicago Reader November 1977; winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Westinghouse Science Writing Award.

K2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand  Originally published under the title “The Quality of the Instrument” in the Atlantic Monthly August 1982.

Notes of a Mosquito Hunter An account of the mosquito Life at 106 Parkside Trail, Michiana Shores, Indiana, with digressions. Published in the Atlantic Monthly June 1983.

The Last of the Pure Baseball Men  Profile of late Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly August 1981.

A Baker in Business  Brief profile of Chicago baker Nancy Carey, founder of Red Hen Bread; published in the Chicago Reader July 4, 2003.

A Year Without Journalism  Essay published in the Chicago Reader December 30, 2005.