Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert K. Elder  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1976 in Montana


-- Website -- http://robelder.com
-- Robert K. Elder on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=robert+k.++elder


Illinois Connection

Elder lives Chicago. He teaches journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School and Columbia College in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Robert K. Elder is a journalist, author and film columnist. Along with the books Elder has written, he also edited [http://www.amazon.com/John-Woo-Interviews-Conversations-Filmmakers/dp/1578067766/ref=la_B002W3Z9IG_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428352281&sr=1-5 ''John Woo: Interviews''.]


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park
ISBN: 1606352733

The Kent State University Press. 2016

Thinking of Ernest Hemingway often brings to mind his travels around the world, documenting war and engaging in thrilling ad- ventures. However, fully understanding this outsized international author means returning to his place of birth. Hidden Hemingway presents highlights from the extraordinary collection of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. Thoroughly researched, and illustrated with more than 300 color images, this impressive volume includes never-before-published photos letters between Heming- way and Agnes Von Kurowsky, his World War I love bullfighting memorabilia high school assignments adolescent diaries Heming- way’s earliest published work, such as the “Class Prophecy” that appeared in his high school yearbook and even a dental X-ray. Hidden Hemingway also includes one of the final letters Hemingway wrote, as he was undergoing electroshock treatment at the Mayo Clinic. These documents, photographs, and ephemera trace the trajectory of the life of an American literary legend.

The items showcased in Hidden Hemingway are more than stagedressing for a literary life, more than marginalia. They provide definition―and, in some cases, documentation―of Hemingway’s ambition, heartbreak, literary triumphs and trials, and joys and tragedies. It’s Hemingway’s stature as a Pulitzer Prize– and Nobel Prize–winning author that draws so many biographers and historians to his work. It is also the wealth of material he left behind that makes him such a compelling, engaging, and often polarizing figure.

For Hemingway, the material he saved was both autobiography and research. He gathered data and details that made the life lived in his books more authentic. The authors of Hidden Hemingway have done the same, telling a life story through items that illuminate Hemingway’s legacy. Some of the material contradicts the public image that Hemingway built for himself, and some supports his larger-than-life myth. In all, Hidden Hemingway celebrates the Ernest Hemingway archives and Oak Park’s most famous author.

The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love
ISBN: 1569768382

Chicago Review Press. 2013

In this book, 35 directors champion their favorite overlooked or critically savaged gems. Among these guilty pleasures, almost-masterpieces, and undeniable classics in need of revival are unsung noirs (Murder by Contract), famous flops (Can’t Stop the Music, Joe Versus the Volcano), art films (L’ange), theatrical adaptations (The Iceman Cometh), B-movies (Killer Klowns from Outer Space), and even a few Oscar-winners (Some Came Running).

In these conversations, the filmmakers defend their choices. These films, they argue, deserve a larger audience and for their place in movie history to be reconsidered. But the conversations’ tangents, diversions, and side trips provide as much insight into the directors’ own approach to moviemaking as into the film they’re discussing. The filmmakers are the perfect hosts, often setting the tone, managing expectations, and giving advice about how you should watch each movie. They’re often brutally honest about a film’s shortcomings or the reasons why it was lost in the first place.

The Best Film You’ve Never Seen is not only a guide to some badly overlooked movies but a bold attempt to rewrite film history.

It Was Love When...: Tales from the Beginning of Love
ISBN: 140225671X

Sourcebooks Casablanca. 2011

He told me I was a penguin: "tiny, adorable, and loved by everyone."

TALES FROM THE BEGINNING OF LOVE

It may be after three days together, or after three months-it's that moment when it all falls together. From heartfelt declarations to all-knowing smiles, It Was Love When .. captures that moment when love is just beginning.

• I thought to myself, "I love him more than Spider-Man loves Mary Jane."
• I was looking through his iTunes when I realized that our playlists were nearly identical.
• Suddenly he turned off the lights and told me to look up at the ceiling. Glow-in-the-dark stars covered the entire ceiling, spelling out "I love you."

Both addictive and heartwarming, It Was Love When... is a freeze frame of that moment when you realize that you're truly,completely in love.

The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark
ISBN: 1556528256

Chicago Review Press. 2011

The movie that inspired filmmakers to direct is like the atomic bomb that went off before their eyes. The Film That Changed My Life captures that epiphany. It explores 30 directors' love of a film they saw at a particularly formative moment, how it influenced their own works, and how it made them think differently. Rebel Without a Cause inspired John Woo to comb his hair and talk like James Dean. For Richard Linklater, "something was simmering in me, but Raging Bull brought it to a boil" Apocalypse Now inspired Danny Boyle to make larger-than-life films. A single line from The Wizard of Oz- "Who could ever have thought a good little girl like you could destroy all my beautiful wickedness? -had a direct impact on John Waters. "That line inspired my life" Waters says. "I sometimes say it to myself before I go to sleep, like a prayer" In this volume, directors as diverse as John Woo, Peter Bogdanovich, Michel Gondry, and Kevin Smith examine classic movies that inspired them to tell stories. Here are 30 inspired and inspiring discussions of classic films that shaped the careers of today's directors and, in turn, cinema history. Robert K. Elder's work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, and elsewhere. His books include John Woo: Interviews and Last Words of the Executed.

It Was Over When...: Tales of Romantic Dead Ends
ISBN: 1402253222

Sourcebooks Casablanca. 2011

A snapshot of modern romance gone bad, complete with its complexities and contradictions, It Was Over When... compiles the best user-submitted stories of lost love from its companion website (www.itwasoverwhen.com), to create a greatest hits collection of cringe-inducing love schadenfreude. The moment you realize you've got a bad romance can be funny, sad, and sometimes both-but it is nearly always resonant, therapeutic, and universal. This is a spot-on voyeuristic guide to navigating the landmine riddled field of love.

Last Words of the Executed
ISBN: 0226202682

University of Chicago Press. 2010

Some beg for forgiveness. Others claim innocence. At least three cheer for their favorite football teams.

Death waits for us all, but only those sentenced to death know the day and the hour—and only they can be sure that their last words will be recorded for posterity. Last Words of the Executed presents an oral history of American capital punishment, as heard from the gallows, the chair, and the gurney.

The product of seven years of extensive research by journalist Robert K. Elder, the book explores the cultural value of these final statements and asks what we can learn from them. We hear from both the famous—such as Nathan Hale, Joe Hill, Ted Bundy, and John Brown—and the forgotten, and their words give us unprecedented glimpses into their lives, their crimes, and the world they inhabited. Organized by era and method of execution, these final statements range from heartfelt to horrific. Some are calls for peace or cries against injustice others are accepting, confessional, or consoling still others are venomous, rage-fueled diatribes. Even the chills evoked by some of these last words are brought on in part by the shared humanity we can’t ignore, their reminder that we all come to the same end, regardless of how we arrive there.

Last Words of the Executed is not a political book. Rather, Elder simply asks readers to listen closely to these voices that echo history. The result is a riveting, moving testament from the darkest corners of society.


Speaking Engagements

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