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As Literary Editor, Elizabeth Taylor directs the Tribune's coverage of the rich and varied literary world. Beyond book reviews, this job extends to events when enrich the lives of our readers. In attition to the regular author series, Elizabeth led the Tribune's effort to take over Printers Row Lit Fest and now oversees programming of the annual Printers Row Lit Fest which draws about 100,000 people and 200 authors to a vibrant celebration of the written word in all its forms. She also oversee the Tribune's awards, from our Literary Prize, with Arthur Miller as our first winner and Sam Shepard as our most recent, to the Heartland Prizes, Young Adult Book Prize and Nelson Algren Short Story prizes. She is fiercely committed to the discussion and celebration of reading, education and ideas in Chicago and the nation.
Elizabeth Taylor joined the Chicago Tribune after thirteen years as a Time Magazine Correspondent, based in New York then Chicago. She is the co-author, with Adam Cohen, of “American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley, His Battle for Chicago and the Nation.” Winnner of the Society of Midland Authors Prize, the book was named to the New York Times list of best books of 2000. Former President of the National Book Critics Circle, Elizabeth continues to serve on its Board of Directors where she chairs its strategic planning committee. Elizabeth has served as a Pulitzer juror, chairing the Biography and Fiction committees. She has chaired the Harold Washington Literary Prize on two occasions. She is on the Board of the MacDowell Colony, the venerable arts colony, and Polyphyony, a high school literary magazine. Elizabeth was as Visiting Professor at Mount Holyoke College, where she taught an upper-level seminar in the English Department. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, was a Mary Lyon Scholar at Mount Holyoke and more recently was elected, and served, on the College’s Board of Trustees. Elizabeth went on the Yale University’s PhD program, but departed early with an MA when she was hired by Time Magazine. Elizabeth grew up in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and broke the gender barrier as the first female Page in the U.S. House of Representatives, and interned at the White House, working for the National Security Council. After college, she worked for the Carnegie Institute for Peace and then on Capitol Hill where she began writing opinion columns and book reviews for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She speaks at colleges and universities, as well has high schools, across the country, and has been featured on NPR, NBC, MSNBC and CSPAN. Elizabeth has made hundres of public appearances, probably the most important one was as keynote speaker for the White House Salute to Women Writers.
Elizabeth lives with her husband, lawyer James Kaplan, and children in Chicago. Their son, William, attends Trinity College, in Hartford, CT. Their daughter, Caroline, attends the Latin School of Chicago, where Elizabeth served two terms on the Board of Trustees, and one as the head of the Academic Program Committee. Elizabeth loves theatre, travel and - obviously - books. She is devoted to her family, which includes a Kerry Blue Terrier named Maisie. She is more ambivalent about David, the Siamese cat, who is a bit of a grump.