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Tony Fitzpatrick talks about his drawing-collages and favorite books – Page 3

Tony Fitzpatrick lists his favorite books of all time...

READERSVOICE.COM: Do you ever wish you could go back in time and talk to people say 20 years ago or more?
TONY FITZPATRICK: Twenty years ago I was talking to people.
Most of the work that I make comes out of history that I learned from talking to people.
As a little kid, I come from a big Irish family, and there was a real tradition of storytelling… from my uncles and my grandparents, and it all kind of got passed down.
So the sense of an oral history has been very prominent in my life…
RV: Here’s the last question. Can you think, off the top of your head, what would be your five favorite books of all time?
TF: My five favorite books of all time…Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje.
It’s the story of Buddy Bolden and the invention of jazz and the combination of genius and madness it took to bring that forward at the turn of the last century.
Working by Studs Terkel. (a book of interviews with people from all sorts of jobs, 1974)
The People, Yes, by Carl Sandburg. (poetry, published 1936 – ed.)
The Neon Wilderness by Nelson Algren… (24 short stories – ed.)

The big influences also… The collected poems of James Wright, which is called Above the River (1990 -ed.).
The Man With the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren…
American Tabloid by James Ellroy. That’s a great book.
RV: He’s a guy who likes talking to old timers, too, isn’t he?
TF: Oh, yeah. Old cops and stuff, you know.
RV: P.i.s that used to tail Kennedy and all this sort of thing…
TF: Yeah, yeah.
RV:…to his dalliances with Marilyn Monroe.
TF: Exactly. I stay in the hotel in New York where Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe used to fool around. The Carlisle Hotel, yeah, at 76th and Madison.
RV: Is that common knowledge that they used to go there?
TF: No, err, not common knowledge, but it’s known that that’s where they used to have their trysts.
So those are some of my favorite books in the world. And also Doghouse Roses by Steve Earle (short stories – ed.)

RV: Ok. And what’s Studs Terkel like?
TF: He’s an amazing man.
RV: How’d you meet him?
TF: I met him 25 years ago. I met him at a memorial for Nelson Algren and I’ve known him ever since.
And he’s truly an incredible human being.
RV: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of his books. There’s one on the Depression, I think.
TF: Oh, yeah, Hard Times,(1970-ed.) yeah…There’s also a remarkable and marvellous book he did on World War Two called The Good War (1984-ed.) Put that on my list, too.
The Good War by Studs Terkel, which he won the Pulitzer Prize for. An oral history of World War Two.
-To see the drawing-collages of Tony Fitzpatrick visit
His book Volume 1 of The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, (Last Gasp, publishers) includes many of his collage pictures of Chicago.