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A Writer Tries His Hand at Film

Kotlowitz to discuss road from journalist and author to film writer and producer

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Nonfiction writer Alex Kotlowitz will discuss his role as writer and producer of the acclaimed documentary, “The Interrupters,” when he speaks at Northwestern University Tuesday, Feb. 21, and presents clips from the film.

Kotlowitz -- best known for his book “There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America” -- collaborated with “Hoop Dreams” filmmaker Steve James on “The Interrupters,” which profiles community “peacemakers” in troubled Chicago neighborhoods who are part of a group called Ceasefire

“The Making of the Interrupters: A Writer Tries His Hand at Film” will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 201 of University Hall, 1987 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Kotlowitz, who has been a writer in residence at Northwestern’s Center for the Writing Arts since 2001, teaches an undergraduate class in nonfiction storytelling.

His first book, “There Are No Children Here,” has sold more than a half-million copies and was selected by New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century. He is the author of “The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death and America’s Dilemma,” another book about race and America, and “Never a City So Real,” a collection of contemporary stories from Chicago. 

Kotlowitz has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and public radio’s “This American Life.” In the past three years, he produced three collections of personal narratives for Chicago Public Radio including the Peabody Award-winning “Stories of Home” series. He also was a correspondent and writer for a “Frontline” TV documentary called “Let’s Get Married” and created two pieces for Public Broadcasting System’s “Media Matters.”

Kotlowitz’s presentation at Northwestern is sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts. For more information about the event, contact Stacy Oliver at (847) 467-4099, email or visit the Center for the Writing Arts website at

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