By Errol Louis
It’s only a matter of time before the newspaper column takes its rightful place as a recognized and respected form of literature, every bit as vital as its more celebrated cousins, the short story and the novel.
The recognition should have happened a long time ago. An impressive list of literary masters honed their craft writing newspaper columns, including Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, O. Henry, Mark Twain and Damon Runyon. Generations of students have pored over Hughes’s poetry, Twain’s novels and O. Henry’s short stories, unaware that the authors also tackled the issues of the day – death, war, sports, crime, politics – in thoughtful, delightful columns that often hold up remarkably well decades later.
Here is the start of “Chicago Gang War,” that a young columnist named Ernest Hemingway penned for the Toronto Star in 1921:
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