Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Stuart Dybek  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1942 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Stuart Dybek on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dybek was born and raised in Chicago's Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods in the 1950s and early 1960s. Currently, he is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dybek is the author of three books of fiction: ''I Sailed With Magellan'', ''The Coast of Chicago'', and ''Childhood and Other Neighborhoods''. Both ''I Sailed With Magellan'' and ''The Coast of Chicago'' were New York Times Notable Books, and ''The Coast of Chicago'' was a One Book One Chicago selection. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: ''Streets in Their Own Ink'' and ''Brass Knuckles''. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in ''The New Yorker'', ''Harper's'', ''The Atlantic'', ''Poetry'', ''Tin House'', and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry.After teaching for more than 30 years at Western Michigan University, where he remains an Adjunct Professor of English and a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program, Dybek became the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Published Works

  • Brass Knuckles, University of Pittsburg Press, 1979
  • Childhood and Other Neighborhood Stories, Viking, 1980
  • The Coast of Chicago, Knopf, 1991
  • I Sailed With Magellan, Picador, 2004
  • Streets in Their Own Ink: Poems, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006
  • Ecstatic Cahoots, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014
  • Paper Lantern, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014
  • The Start of Something: Selected Stories of Stuart Dybek, 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Brass knuckles /
ISBN: 0887484158. OCLC Number:

Carnegie Mellon University Press,. Pittsburgh :. 2004.

Childhood and other neighborhoods :
ISBN: 0226176584. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 2003.

"In Stuart Dybek's Chicago, wonder lurks in unexpected places - in garbage-strewn alleys, gloomy basement apartments, abandoned rooms at the top of rickety stairs periodically rumbled by passing el trains. Transformed through the wide eyes of Dybek's adolescent heroes, these urban backwaters become exotic landscapes of fear-filled possibility, of dreams not yet turned to nightmares. Chronicling what happens when Old World faith meets the dark side of the American dream, Dybek's poignant stories of coming of age Chicago alternately appall, amaze, and just simply entertain."--Jacket.

Listen /
ISBN: 0312424256. OCLC Number:

Bedford/St. Martin's,. Boston :. ©2008.

I sailed with Magellan /
ISBN: 0312424116. OCLC Number:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. New York :. 2003.

A collection of short works by the author of The coast of Chicago is set in the urban areas of Chicago's South Side, where imaginative protagonist Perry Katzek encounters such events as a boy's musical performances on behalf of a drinking uncle, a thug's distraction by multiple ex-girlfriends, and a scheme by two youths to sell stolen flowers to finance a trip to Mexico.

Streets in their own ink /
ISBN: 0374529914. OCLC Number:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. New York :. 2004.

"In his second book of poems, Stuart Dybek finds vitality in the same imagery that animates his works of fiction. These poems map the internal geographies of characters who inhabit severe and often savage city streets, finding there a tension that transfigures past and present, memory and fantasy, sin and sanctity, nostalgia and the need to forget."--Jacket.

Ecstatic Cahoots :
ISBN: 0374280509. OCLC Number:

. .

A collection of fifty original mini-stories explores the need to achieve ecstatic self-transcendence as well as trust between lovers, friends, family, and strangers.

Paper Lantern :
ISBN: 0374146446. OCLC Number:

. .

A collection of short stories of love set in gritty urban environments.


Among Dybek's numerous awards are a PEN/Malamud Prize "for distinguished achievement in the short story," a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award.

I Sailed With Magellan

  • New York Times Notable Books
  • Society of Midland Authors award for adult fiction
  • The Coast of Chicago

  • New York Times Notable Books
  • One Book One Chicago selection
  • Childhood and Other Neighborhoods

  • Society of Midland Authors award for adult fiction

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)