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Announcing the 2021 CHIRBy Awards Shortlist

Announcing the 2021 CHIRBy Awards Shortlist

The Chicago Review of Books is proud to announce the shortlist for the 2021 CHIRBy Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the CHIRBy Awards recognizes the best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and short essays published by Chicago-based writers. Congratulations to all of these incredible writers on this year’s shortlist!

The winners in each category will be announced at the virtual 6th CHIRBy Awards ceremony on Thursday, December 9 at 7 pm CT. Join us, StoryStudio Chicago, and our wonderful host Jenn White of NPR’s podcast 1A as we celebrate some of the brightest writing minds in Chicago today! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

All funds raised will help support the Chicago Review of Books. We hope to see you there!


The Upstairs House
By Julia Fine

Clark and Division
By Naomi Hirahara
Soho Crime

The Kindest Lie
By Nancy Johnson
William Morrow & Company

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio
By David Stuart Maclean
Harry N. Abrams

Arsenic and Adobo
By Mia P. Manansala
Berkley Books


The Most Fun Thing: Dispatches from a Skateboard Life
By Kyle Beachy
Grand Central Publishing

Refugee High: Coming of Age in America
By Elly Fishman
New Press

Blow Your House Down
By Gina Frangello
Counterpoint LLC

Love Is an Ex-Country
By Randa Jarrar

Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood
By Dawn Turner
Simon & Schuster


Written after a Massacre in the Year 2018
By Daniel Borzutzky
Coffee House Press

By Cortney Lamar Charleston
Haymarket Books

Wolf Lamb Bomb
By Aviya Kushner
Orison Books

By Ananda Lima
Black Lawrence Press

See Also

Asked What Has Changed
By Ed Roberson
Wesleyan University Press


“The climate crisis haunts Chicago’s Future. A Battle Between a Great City and a Great Lake”
By Dan Egan
The New York Times

“The neighborhood I grew up in is full of affordable housing, but that’s not enough”
By Natalie Frazier
The TRiiBE

“The Three Corpses”
by Jami Nakamura Lin

“Looking back, I really should have jumped up on stage and danced with Prince”
By Natalie Y. Moore

Chicago Sun Times

“Inside the Last Men’s Hotel in Chicago”
By Katie Prout
The New Republic
& Chicago Reader



Michael Welch, CHIRBy Awards Director

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