Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Thomas Dyja  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction History Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Thomas Dyja on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dyja was born and raised on Chicago's Northwest side. He is a third generation Chicagoan.

Biographical and Professional Information

Thomas Dyja is an author, bookseller, literary agent, editor and book packager. He stayed in New York after graduating from Columbia University to go into publishing. He still resides in New York today.

Published Works

  • Play for A Kingdom, Harcourt Brace, 1997
  • Meet John Trow, Viling Adult, 2002
  • The Moon in Our Hands, Da Capo, 2006
  • Walter White: The Dilemma of Black Identity in America, Ivan R, Dee, 2008
  • The Third Coast, Penguin Books, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

Play for a kingdom /
ISBN: 0151002673. OCLC Number:

Harcourt Brace,. New York :. c1997.

During the Civil War, Union and Confederate soldiers lay down their arms to play baseball. The soldiers think they are beating the system--fraternizing with the enemy is forbidden--but in fact the command of one side is using the games to meet a spy in the other's camp. When the soldiers realize this they pick up their arms. A first novel.

Meet John Trow :
ISBN: 0670030996. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2002.

With his career and marriage both deteriorating, Steven Armour joins a group of Civil War reenactors and throws himself into their weekend exercises with zeal, eventually beginning to lose his identity in his embrace of the Civil War role.

The moon in our hands /
ISBN: 0786717076. OCLC Number:

Carroll & Graf Publishers,. New York :. 2006, ©2005.

Recruited in 1918 to work for the NAACP, Walter White--a lightskinned African-American man who can pass for white--is sent undercover to investigate a lynching, all the while confronted with personal issues of identity. From the author of the award-winning novel Play for a Kingdom comes a masterful story inspired by the early life of Walter White, a dynamic but now all-but-forgotten figure in the history of civil rights. Thetwenty- four-year- old White was recruited in 1918 to work for the NAACP. Just weeks after he began, a horrible lynching took place in a small town in Tennessee and White was sent there to pose as a traveling salesman. His mission was to stay as long as it took to pry the secrets out of the town. Dyja paints a complex portrait of shifting identity as White, a blonde, blue-eyed, and very light-skinned African-American, moves back and forth between white and black, working his way into both the good-old-boy network of the town and the besieged African-American community. Forced to rethink his assumptions about what really happened in the town of Sibley Springs the night of the lynching, he struggles to establish guilt and innocence in a foreign landscape, confronting as well his own questions of identity. When another lynching looms, White must decide if he will risk everything to save a black life and the white souls of Sibley Springs.

Walter White :
ISBN: 156663766X. OCLC Number:

Ivan R. Dee,. Chicago :. ©2008.

"Thomas Dyja's fascinating and compelling biography of Walter White takes us into the personal and political world of this fair-skinned, blond and blue-eyed, brash and impulsive, stylish and complex man. His story is about one of the few individuals in American history who devoted himself completely to the concept of a color-blind nation, yet lost the delicate balance between ambition and advocacy that had been his trademark." "In restoring Walter White to his place in the story of the African-American struggle, Thomas Dyja fills the void between Booker T. Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also confronts some of the thorniest issues between blacks and whites in America."--Jacket.

The third coast :
ISBN: 0143125095. OCLC Number:

. .

A cultural history of Chicago at midcentury, with its incredible mix of architects, politicians, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, and actors who helped shape modern America.

Speaking Engagements

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