Cyrus Colter

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General Information

Name: Cyrus Colter

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: January 8, 1910 in Noblesville, Indiana

Died: April 17, 2002

Celebrated on the Illinois State Library, Gwendolyn Brooks Building

"She had always loved snow; it made the world look so unreal and insubstantial. Dreams had a better chance of coming true in a world of unreality." - Cyrus Colter, The Lookout

Illinois Connection

  • Wrote about Chicago
  • Attended Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Lived in Chicago

Biographical and Professional Information

Cyrus Colter was a novelist, short story writer and lawyer. He was a Professor Emeritus of English at Northwesterdn University in Evanston, Illinois. Colter was also the chairman of the department of African-American Studies and Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities at that institution.

He published his first fiction at age 60, after a career as a Chicago attorney and serving on the Illinois Commerce Commission. The collection of stories, The Beach Umbrella (1970), and the novels The River of Eros (1972), The Hippodrome (1973) and Night Studies (1979) explore black life in Chicago across a wide range of social class and circumstances. Colter's last novel, City of Light, was published in 1993.

Published Works

  • Beach Umbrella, University of Iowa Press, 1970
  • The River of Eros, Swallow Press, 1972
  • The Hippodrome, Swalow Press, 1973
  • Night Studies, Swallow Press, 1979
  • A Chocolate Soldier, Thunder`s Mouth Press, 1988
  • City of Light, Thunder`s Mouth Press, 1993

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

The Beach Umbrella and Other Stories

ISBN: 0810150506
Release Date: 1996-05-13

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The Rivers of Eros (Prairie State Books)

ISBN: 025206089X
Release Date: 1991-02-01

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The Hippodrome

ISBN: 0810150360
Release Date: 1994-10-26

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Night Studies

ISBN: 0810150654
Release Date: 1997-08-01

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A Chocolate Soldier

ISBN: 1874509441
Release Date: 1999

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City of Light

ISBN: 0810150808
Release Date: 1998-04-15

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Literary Awards

  • Cyrus was presented with the Illinois Literary Heritage Award in 1998 by the Illinois Center for the Book.
  • He received a Doctor of Letters from the University of Illinois (Chicago).
  • In 1990, his name was engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures.
  • Cryus Colter was a 2011 inductee of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

External Links

Cyrus Colter on WorldCat

Cyrus Colter on Amazon


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