Where are Chicago's women writers? Right here.

April 22, 2013

This weekend, Rachel Shteir published a piece in the New York Times called “Chicago Manuals” that ostensibly reviewed some Chicago-centric books but should have really been titled “I Hate It Here.”

Any intelligent Chicagoan should be able to handle the critique that this city, like any major city, has serious problems, but anyone who calls him or herself a Chicagoan should be able to pick out at least one or two things he or she enjoys about the city—otherwise, why live here?

Instead, Shteir’s piece seems to be written by someone who is trapped here against her will. For 13 years she’s put up with Chicago’s delusions of grandeur, terrible weather and proximity to Detroit (the only city in the country that is worse than Chicago.)

I’m not going to try to pick apart Shteir’s piece here except in one regard: “Where are the women writers?” she asks and then, oddly, tackles a 2009 Granta issue as an example of the dearth of female writers recognized in the city. I’m confused about why she chose a four-year-old periodical as a reference.

So, the next time someone decides to take a dump all over my city and then goes on to claim that Chicago’s female writers get lost in the shuffle, I’d like to submit this list of published female Chicago writers as a handy reference. It’s nowhere near complete, but I can vouch for the fact that the women on here are talented and that a lot of them are a hell of a lot of fun. Maybe Shteir should try reaching out sometime to these ladies: having a beer with one of them at one of this city’s many drinking establishments may soften her a little bit towards “poor Chicago.”

Wendy McClure

Kate Harding

Kelly McNees

Emily Gray Tedrowe

Nami Mun (lucky to be mentioned in the article)

Rebecca Skloot

Thea Goodman

Molly Backes

Samantha Irby

Megan Stielstra

Stacey Ballis

Jen Lancaster

Erin Shea Smith

Cristina Henriquez

Veronica Roth

Achy Obejas

Anne Elizabeth Moore

Amy Guth

Erika S. Olson

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Julia Sweeney

Annie Logue

Gillian Flynn

I know I am accidentally omitting a sinful number of people so feel free to add your suggestions below.

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