Gwendolyn Brooks said, “I lived on 63rd Street—at 623 East 63rd Street—and there was a good deal of life in the raw all about me. You might feel that this would be disturbing, but it was not. It contributed to my writing process. I wrote about what I saw and heard in the street.”
Saul Bellow, likewise, used Chicago as the setting of some of his most celebrated books. He said, “Provincialism can be a blessing.”
The books written about or set in Chicago would fill an expansive library, and more launch all the time. Despite this abundance, Chicago as a literary landscape does not grow tired; on the contrary, the city grows in richness with myriad interpretations. This Chicago book index serves as a reference point to some of the titles published over the years. More will be added all the time, and we encourage suggestions. All the books listed include Chicago as a primary or at least secondary setting. These books give us glimpses into Chicago’s many neighborhoods, its people, its endless enterprise, its cruelty and kindness, as well as it many historical eras. These books show us Chicago life—then, now, and in some cases the future.
Go to the list of all titles.