In the Frunchroom: James Finn Garner

The goal of The Frunchroom is to tell stories of, about and by the the South Side. But we also strive to connect all of Chicago’s neighborhoods to each other and celebrate our similarities, rather than highlight our differences.

To that end, we invite storytellers from all parts of Chicago – including the North, West and East Sides – to share South Side stories. For our next event on January 21st, we have two North Siders, the first of whom has South Side roots.

21584_10153973825975757_4061315553004877893_nJames Finn Garner was born and raised in Detroit, but because his parents were from Beverly and Blue Island, he just considers his childhood as being a stint overseas. In his 20s, he kicked around various comedy venues on the North Side, both as a performer and host. It was from one of these variety shows that his best known work, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, was born. Originally rejected by 30 different publishers, PCBS spent more than 60 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, was translated into more than 15 languages, and spawned two successful sequels.

His current writing projects include the seminal clown noir detective series starring “Rex Koko, Private Clown”. The series thus far includes Honk Honk, My Darling (Book of the Year, Non-traditional Fiction, Chicago Writers Association 2011), Double Indignity, and The Wet Nose of Danger (Book of the Year, Non-traditional Fiction, CWA 2015). He has also recorded the first book as an episodic podcast, performing more than 20 characters.

In recent years, he has scratched the performance itch by appearing at numerous live lit venues, including The Paper Machete, Write Club, Funny Ha-Ha, Louder than a Mom, Essay Fiesta, and You’re Being Ridiculous.

For The Frunchroom, James will tell us about a contentious piece of real estate on 57th Street that will prove very insightful for those from Irish-American families.

Along with his wife and two soon-to-be-college-age children, he lives on the north side in Lincoln Square. He asks that you not hold it against him.

See James and the rest of our readers on January 21st at O’Rourke’s Office at 730pm.

About Scott Smith

Chicagoan, husband, father, writer.
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