By Jessica Cage
Chicago takes pride in its talented residents, including its literary stars. Get a taste of what the young, talented minds of Chicago are filling the pages with, and check out these great local indie authors and publishers.
Originally from Versailles, current Chicago resident Delphine Pontvieux is a thrill-seeking scuba instructor and the author of the fiction novel “ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest,” which won a 2011 Indie Excellence Book Award. The novel follows the struggles of a 21-year-old alleged terrorist, Lorenzo, who is forced to flee his hometown and go on the run after he finds himself a very wanted man. A fast-paced political thriller, Pontvieux’s impressive debut makes her one to watch.
Editor of “Thank you, Death Robot,” a multi-author collection which was named 2009 Chicago Author Favorite by the Chicago Tribune, Mark Brand is also editor at the independent publisher Silverthought Press and hosts its podcast “Breakfast with the Author.” Brand’s novel, “Red Ivy Afternoon,” also received a bronze medal in the Independent Publishing Awards in the category of Fantasy/Science Fiction.
Author, poet and motivational speaker Toneal Jackson was recognized by the National Black Book Festival for her book “Pleasing Your Partner: A Spiritual Guide to H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S.,” a featured topic of her motivational speeches. Self-help book fans will find much to learn in Jackson’s book about happy marriages, solutions to communication problems, and financial and trust issues, among many others.
Related: 8 New Chicago Books
Curbside Splendor is a local Chicago independent publisher that produces fiction, poetry and urban-based art. Check out its E-Zine, a monthly publication that showcases art and poetry, or Curbside Splendor, a self-titled, semi-annually-produced collection of works and art created here in Chicago. Publications to watch out for include Michael Czyzniejewski’s “Chicago Stories: 40 Dramatic Fictions” and Amber Sparks’ short story collection “May We Shed These Human Bodies” (available in September 2012).
Considered one of the best small presses in the country, Featherproof Books publishes books by Chicago authors such as Patrick Somerville (check out his “The Universe in Miniature in Miniature”) and Lindsay Hunter (her debut collection of stories “Daddy’s” is packaged as a tackle box). They’re also known for a unique form of storytelling–”mini-books,” downloadable, printable stories from authors such as Somerville, Tim Kinsella and Molly Gaudry. Also check out the “Storigamis” — origami versions of their mini books. These take a little more focus to figure out and assemble, but every story is worth the effort.