Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sydney Lewis  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: Brookline, Massachusetts

-- Sydney Lewis on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Born and raised in Manhatttan, New York, Sydney attended Lake Forest College and the University of Oregon. She came to Chicago the summer of 1976 and never left.

Biographical and Professional Information

In addition to her writing she has worked a variety of jobs from district office manager for then Senator Dawn Clark Netsch to bartending.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Hospital: an oral history of cook county hospital
ISBN: 0425154521

Berkley. 1996

Using Chicago's Cook County Hospital as a microcosm of the human and social problems of America, a long-time assistant to Studs Terkel learns how doctors, staff, and patients deal with victims of violence, incurable disease, and racial tensions. Reprint.

A Totally Alien Life-Form: Teenagers
ISBN: 1565842839

New Press, The. 1997

Young people between the ages of 13 and 19 from all over the US were interviewed for this book. In it, they discuss fears, plans, ambitions, and even nostalgia for the simplicity of childhood.

Help Wanted: Tales from the First Job Front
ISBN: 1565847458

The New Press. 2002

Help Wanted is a collection of candid first-person accounts by young people from across the nation, who talk about their first forays into the real world of work. The Chicago Tribune called author Sydney Lewis “the legitimate heir to Studs Terkel,” and Terkel himself said, “Sydney Lewis is a natural to do this book. She’s on the same wavelength as the young people recounting their first jobs. In its honesty and innocence, it’s a strongly moving as well as revealing work.”

Help Wanted discusses everything from difficult coworkers, tough bosses, and criticism to stringent deadlines, dress codes, and harassment and is a testament to how young people are prepared—or not prepared—for their entry into the workforce. It also offers tips for surviving the first months on the job and other advice not found in typical career guides.


Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism, Society of Professional Journalists, 2000, for Chicago Matters, Seeking Justice

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)