Reading Chicago Classics: The Man with the Golden Arm (Virtual)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022-Wednesday, July 27, 2022

6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Five Sessions


The registration period has closed for this event.

Seminar Description
Nelson Algren's masterpiece, The Man with the Golden Arm, won the first National Book Award in 1949. In vivid vernacular American English, Algren depicted the world of Damen and Division as Chicagoans experienced 'the new way we got of doin' things' after World War II. In this seminar we will explore the world of Frankie Machine, his pal Sparrow, his wife Sophie, his lover Molly, and his bartender, Antek the Owner. The bars, police stations, and defunct factories are the setting of Chicago's transformation from a patchwork of urban ethnic villages to a post-industrial city. We'll delve slowly and deeply into Algren's novel, contextualized with his own literary criticism and with the work of scholars since.

Five sessions. $ 185/ $165.

Led by Bill Savage.


Bill Savage has taught seminars on Chicago literature, history, and culture at the Newberry Library since 1992

Registration Fees

Registration is $185

We offer a 10% discount to seniors, students, and Associate members (at the Author level and above) of the Newberry.

Contact Us
The Adult Education Seminars Program team is available Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm. To reach the seminars program, email is the best form of contact: You can also reach us by phone at 312-255-3700. Please allow 24-48 business hours for a response.