Saturday, July 16, 2022

The 10 best 21st century Chicago novels

Edward McClelland is a native of Lansing, Mich., which is also the birthplace of Burt Reynolds and the Oldsmobile.

McClelland’s most recent book, Midnight in Vehicle City: General Motors, Flint, and the Strike That Built the Middle Class, is a narrative account of the 1936-37 Flint Sit Down Strike, which led to the establishment of the United Auto Workers as the nation’s flagship labor union. His previous book, How to Speak Midwestern, is a guide to the speech and sayings of Middle America, which The New York Times called “a dictionary wrapped in some serious dialectology inside a gift book trailing a serious whiff of Relevance.”

At Chicago magazine McClelland tagged ten "favorite modern fiction titles set in Chicago," including:
The Kindest Lie (2021) by Nancy Johnson

Ruth Tuttle is young, successful, and Black on the South Side of Chicago at a moment when another young, successful Black South Sider is elected president of the United States. Ruth went to Yale and built a career as an engineer, but was only able to do so because she gave up a baby boy when she was a teenager. Before she can start a family with her husband, Ruth must return to her blue-collar Indiana hometown — which seems a lot like Gary — to find out what became of her son.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Q&A with Nancy Johnson.

--Marshal Zeringue