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Descripción de editorial
A son of the times, award-winning columnist John W. Fountain writes about everyday life, from the serious to the sublime. He writes about everything from life and homicide to poverty and hope. He writes about the church, faith and religion. About black women’s hair, fatherhood and old-school mothering. Fountain writes about riding a Harley and getting a pedicure for the first time. He chronicles the conversations of “the roundtable,” a motley crew of middle-age-to-old men at a suburban coffee shop.
Son of the Times: Life, Laughter, Love & Coffee is a compilation of stories and commentary by a world-class journalist at his best. Reading his stories is like having a conversation over a hot cup of good coffee with an old friend or curling up in front of a crackling fireplace, unfolding the Sunday newspaper then losing yourself in the story. As one reader described it, Fountain’s style of writing “is a form of poetry, with a cadence like that of a heartbeat. Your words help and heal.”
Fountain, whose column runs weekly in the Chicago Sun-Times, is formerly a national correspondent for The New York Times as well as a former staff writer for both the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. He is currently a professor of journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Son of the Times: Life, Laughter, Love & Coffee captures a mix of the best of Fountain’s columns and also some of his other work from a nearly 25-year career as a journalist. He is a masterful storyteller. And his words will make you laugh, cry, think and feel—no matter what your flavor or politics—because his stories, more than anything else, are simply human.
“Fountain writes with intelligence, compassion and eloquence about stuff that nobody in Chicago writes about but should… John’s general approach as a columnist is to mine the personal to find the universal, a rather dangerous form of journalism that works only if done very well. He does so beautifully well.”
—Tom McNamee, editorial page editor of the Chicago Sun-Times
“His writing is crisp and compelling as he tackles issues head-on, giving his readers a look into his thoughts and feelings.”
—Chicago Journalists Association judges panel
John W. Fountain remembers, and will not let us forget. Chicago born and raised, he has been steeped in the city’s history—a street rep of violence and open-air murder known in gossip, story, song and Frank Sinatra comedy.
Then, in 25 years of work as a reporter, John all too often was covering the slaying of children on city streets, attending their funerals, interviewing their parents, recording the losses that most Americans saw as too minor, too separate, too far away to keep in their memory.
So it was not this year of bloody slaughter on Chicago streets, the videos of unarmed black men gunned down by police, the petty controversy over a movie name, or even the tears of a president that inspired John Fountain’s commentary and calls for someone, everyone to deal with the violence destroying black lives.
It is what he has lived in decades, what we all have lived in those decades, that he will not let us forget.
Encompassing history and breaking news; column writing, rap lyrics and blank verse; scalding memory and present tears, John Fountain’s work as a weekly freelance writer for the Chicago Sun-Times opinion pages stands out for its precision, its eloquence, its intelligence, its breadth and variety and emotional pull.
—Reginald Davis, former editor at the Chicago Tribune