Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Reeder  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1945 in Chicago, IL

-- Website --
-- Richard Reeder on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I was born and raised in Chicago. My book "Chicago Sketches" consists of memoir vignettes all set in the city of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Instructor at the Oakton College Emeritus Program in Skokie. Teaches courses on the Man Booker Prize, Saul Bellow, Nelson Algren, Joseph Epstein and Bernard Malamud. Book reviewer for Noir Journal.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Chicago Sketches
ISBN: 1937484076

Amika Press. 2012

In Chicago Sketches, we visit places as diverse as Maxwell Street, Riverview, Wrigley Field, the old Clark Theater, and the National Bohemian Cemetery. We meet the famous—Nelson Algren and Yevgeny Yevtushenko—and the other people who have touched Reeder’s life—Bubbie Gussie, Rabbi Mendel, and the Big Klu. We also witness moments in Reeder’s life that echo through history—November 4, 1960 and November 22, 1963. Leonid Osseney’s vivid illustrations make all these Chicago sketches come even more alive.

From the Foreword by Charles R. Middleton, President, Roosevelt University, Chicago IL: “Many of us carry vignettes of our lives around in our mind’s eye and even occasionally pause to expand upon a moment and craft it into a silently remembered story. But most of us, and I confess to being with you in this, don’t really have a startling variety of experiences and memories of people.

“Richard Reeder, in Chicago Sketches, thankfully does.

“A good story may start with the people, as these in Chicago Sketches always do, but it’s their context that adds flavor to the stew. It’s important that someone settled in Tulsa or Old Town. It shaped him in that moment of time when you encountered him, and it says something about you that you found him there and not elsewhere.

“A good story, much less a collection of them like this one, has as another essential ingredient. While people and places give a story life, that life is brought into motion by the storyteller. Mr. Reeder’s sensitivity to humanity touches a chord in us and provides sufficient reason to spend some time, however brief, with these people in these places long ago but not so far away.

“Finally, I have a confession to make. I begin reading a book today just as I did when I was in first grade. I start by looking at all the pictures (if there are any). Pictures are windows into the written text as well as visions beyond it. Leonid Osseny’s illustrations in this book are a wonderful example of this. Once these illustrations have captured you, as they did me, the written words seem to take on additional meanings. Enjoy!”

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact Richard Reeder at or 847-542-4624