Bukowski, Douglas 1952-
Bukowski, Douglas 1952-
Born July 30, 1952, in Chicago, IL; son of Edwin (a firefighter) and Mary Ann (a homemaker) Bukowski; married March 22, 1980; wife's name Michele (a legal assistant); children: Clare Louise. Ethnicity: "American." Education: DePaul University, B.A., 1974; University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, M.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1989. Politics: "Disaffected Democrat." Religion: "Disaffected Catholic."
Home and office—Berwyn, IL. E-mail—[email protected]
Freelance writer, 1961—. University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, visiting assistant professor of history, 1989-95.
Baseball Palace of the World: The Last Year of Comiskey Park, Lyceum Books (Chicago, IL), 1992.
Navy Pier: A Chicago Landmark, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (Chicago, IL), 1996.
Big Bill Thompson, Chicago, and the Politics of Image, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1998.
(Editor) American History: A Concise Documents Collection, two volumes, Bedford/St. Martin's Press (Boston, MA), 1999.
Pictures of Home: A Memoir of Family and City, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2004.
Douglas Bukowski told CA: "For me, life entails the struggle over self-expression. Writing (anything published) is the struggle won. My first successful foray occurred in the third grade, when I wrote a thank-you note to my grandmother for the do-it-yourself gallows kit; two years later, I did a soliloquy for Roger Maris's bat. I was clever but not necessarily focused.
"My work draws on the inspiration of person and place. The two writers who most influenced me are, in order of encounter, Irwin Shaw and Ernest Hemingway. They both had an economy of style to which I still aspire. And, if people said I reminded them of John Steinbeck, that would be ok by me.
"I can think of nothing better to write about than Chicago and the people who have given it meaning. The city has always existed with a chip on its shoulder, as have many of its residents; you should've known my father. My interest lies in finding out how the chip got there, understanding its function, and assessing the extent to which it serves as misdirection. Just because Richard J. Daley seemed a certain way doesn't mean he was. I never cease to be amazed by the people who mistake Chicago's image for its reality.
"There are two extremes in writing: the 'verge on destroying your talent before getting started' approach and the nine-to-five grind. I tend toward the latter, although I do sometimes get out of bed to write down a phrase or sentence that comes to me."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bukowski, Douglas, Pictures of Home: A Memoir of Family and City, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2004.
Michigan Historical Record, spring, 1999, Gordon W. Kirk, Jr., review of Big Bill Thompson, Chicago, and the Politics of Image, p. 143.
Publishers Weekly, June 21, 2004, review of Pictures of Home.