Inaugural Chirby Awards Recognize Chicago-Area Authors

In recognition of Chicago’s rich literary culture and history, the Chicago Review of Books created its own unique book award this year affectionately called the Chirbys.

The award celebrates noteworthy writing published by authors from the Chicagoland area during the current year in a variety of categories. The panel of judges consisted of representatives from Chicago independent bookstores, and winners were announced December 8.

The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore won for best nonfiction. Part biography, part reportage, the book takes a fresh look at the social influences that form this region of the city.

The South Side is available in multiple formats.

The Lightkeepers, a murder mystery with an unusual setting, by Abby Geni won best fiction.

The Lightkeepers is available in multiple formats.

A historical, time-traveling mystery with sparks of fantasy, The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, won best debut.

The Mirror Thief is available in multiple formats.

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