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© A. C. McClurg
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The Top 8 Writers From Chicago

Picture of Mahwesh Fatima
Updated: 14 December 2016
The world is filled with writers whose legacy survives undiminished to this day. Some of the best are famous for having come from cities such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco, but how many do you know that came from Chicago? We here at the Culture Trip propose that this city need be added to the list, for carrying individuals of astounding literary calibre. From splendid classical American to strong Chicano literature, Chicago has brought up some of the greatest writers of all time.

Sandra Cisneros (1954 – )

This extraordinary Mexican–American poet is known for the emotional and insightful themes she uses in her work. Along with being a novelist, Sandra Cisneros is also an exceptional poet. Born in Chicago, she had an early life filled with experiences that would later become an inspiration to her work. She discusses profound ideas such as immigration, culture, identity, and the challenges of being a Mexican-American. One of her most known novels, The House on Mango Street has been a key component in the Chicano literature world due to its ‘coming of age’ theme. Along with bringing a tremendous positive influence to literature, Cisneros has been recognized by many literary platforms such as The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune.

Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899 – 1961)

Most, if not all literature lovers know this American novelist’s name. Ernest Miller Hemingway is known for some of the most classical American pieces of works. Works such as The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms are a few of the many exceptional reads that demonstrate significance through realistic matters of courage. He began his writing career in his hometown of west suburban Chicago, Oak Park. From memorable short stories to elaborate novels, Hemingway expressed it all through his own perspective, and his accomplishments for this hard world resulted in him winning a Nobel Prize in Literature (1954).

Hemingway, 1939 | © Lloyd Arnold/WikiCommons
Hemingway, 1939 | © Lloyd Arnold/WikiCommons

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 – 2000)

The first black novelist to win the Pulitzer Prize, highly distinguished writer and poet Gwendolyn Brook grew up in Chicago from when she was a child. She held a strong passion for reading, writing, and continuously showed her talents as she published her first poem ‘Eventide’ when she was 13. Her work often went along with the tone of each era, and later on she took a more political stance; focusing on awareness of color, justice, and activism that portrayed black literature. Today she is still honored, and known for her achievements through various forms of gratitude, and schools named after her.

© Third World Press
© Third World Press

Harriet Monroe (1860 – 1936)

Monroe had a knack for reading at an early age and proved its worth by becoming an American editor, scholar, and poet. Born in Chicago, she grew up around books, as her father owned a large library that she could utilize and escape to. She started out by becoming the founder and editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. She let other poets share their talents through this magazine. Along with creating this platform for other poets and writers, along the way she published her own poetry, and became known by newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, where she shared her work. By 1914, she had become one of the world’s most steadfast and hardworking poets.

Sheldon Allan “Shel” Silverstein (1930 – 1999)

Shel Silverstein came from Chicago, and began his passion for drawing and writing at a young age. While his classmates were good at baseball, or other sports he was confident in his illustrative, and writing skills. After much hard work he carried an exceptional personalized style while he came up with creative ideas to present his work. Among many titles, he is a poet and author of children’s books. Works such as Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up are few of the many beloved pieces by children and adults.

© HarperCollins
© HarperCollins

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875 – 1950)

Novelist and creative genius from Chicago, Edgar Rice Burroughs started writing fiction around 1911. Though he endured a few difficulties, it did not stop him from sharing his creativity with the world. He is the originator of characters such as:the jungle hero we know, Tarzan, and Mars adventurer John Carter. The genres he is known for are science fiction, fantasy, and adventure; which are notably recognized today. In The Paris Review, writers such as Ray Bradbury describe Burroughs as, ‘Probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world […] by giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys.’

Floyd Dell (1887 – 1969)

This poet, and novelist has been recognized to be one of the most influential American writers. Dell started writing poetry at the age of 16. He moved on to join the literary world as he pursued his career at the Chicago Evening Post newspaper. He then progressed towards his career publish renowned novels such as Moon-Calf (1920) and Love in the Machine Age (1930). His reputation exceeds him, as he portrays his opinions in a versatile manner. Not only this, but the way in which he expressed topics of love and family in modern, changing America, presents itself with knowledge and insight till this day.

Scott Turow (1949 – )

Known for his exceptional academic record and integrity packed writing style, this novelist did not stop until he reached the stars in any field he pursued. Scott Turow started his career out in law, and became a lawyer. Along the way he began writing legal thrillers such as Burden of Proof, and Pleading Guilty. He was also recognized in Time magazine for Personal Injuries as the best novel of 1999. Last but not least, many of his novels have been adapted into films for viewers.

Scott Turow, 2008 | © 1msulax/WikiCommons
Scott Turow, 2008 | © 1msulax/WikiCommons