Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cyrus Colter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: January 8, 1910 in Noblesville, Indiana

Died: April 17, 2002

-- Cyrus Colter on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Colter lived in Chicago and attended Chicago-Kent College of Law. He was a Professor Emeritus of English at Northwestern University and was also the chairman of the department of African-American Studies and Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cyrus Colter was a novelist, short story writer and lawyer. 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'', and the novels ''The River of Eros'', ''The Hippodrome'' and ''Night Studies'' 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.

Selected Titles At Your Library

The beach umbrella and other stories /
ISBN: 0810150506. OCLC Number:

TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press,. Evanston, Ill. :. 1996.

The rivers of Eros /
ISBN: 025206089X. OCLC Number:

University of Illinois Press,. Urbana :. ©1990.

The hippodrome /
ISBN: 0810150360. OCLC Number:

TriQuarterly Books,. Evanston, Ill. :. 1994.

Night studies :
ISBN: 0810150654. OCLC Number:

TriQuarterly Books,. Evanston, Ill. :. 1997.

A chocolate soldier.
ISBN: 1874509441. OCLC Number:

Nia,. London :. 1997.

City of light :
ISBN: 0810150808. OCLC Number:

TriQuaterly Books,. Evanston, Ill. :. 1998.


  • Illinois Literary Heritage Award, Illinois Center for the Book, 1998
  • Doctor of Letters, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990.
  • Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2011