Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Donald Gerard Evans  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1965, in Chicago, IL

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Illinois Connection

Don Evans was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago, and attended Brentano then Lloyd elementary schools before moving with his family to Downers Grove, where he graduated from Downers Grove South High School. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign. Don has lived in Wrigleyville, Old Town, and Logan Square, but for the past 13 years has resided in Oak Park. His first novel, Good Money After Bad, takes place in the shadows of Wrigley Field, and his anthology Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Til Next Year focuses on the North Side baseball team's fans. Many of his short stories are also set in Chicago. As the founder and executive director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Don works to celebrate and sustain all Chicago literature.

Biographical and Professional Information

Donald G. Evans is the Founding Executive Editor of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, author of the novel Good Money After Bad, and editor of a Chicago Cubs anthology Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year. His short story collection, An Off-White Christmas, was published in October, 2018. He's been listed four times in the Newcity Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago feature, and received the Chicago Writers Association's Spirit Award for lifetime achievement. He serves on various boards and committees, including as a program committee member of the American Writers Museum, and a selector for the annual Harold Washington Literary Award. He has taught at a variety of institutions, mostly at the college and adult enrichment level.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Good Money after Bad
ISBN: 0976053586

Atomic Quill Pr. 2007

Good Money After Bad follows the fluctuating fortunes of sports gambler Chance Skinner during the summer of 1995, while Chicago is experiencing its worst-ever heat wave. Chance, at 26, lives rent-free in his Gram's converted pantry overlooking Wrigley Field. He aspires to something vaguely like success, which includes respect, love, a kind of integrity and meaningful work. Gambling seems like a good shortcut to all that. When losses mount, Chance, desperate to maintain his good credit standing with bookies, submits himself as guinea pig to human medical studies. In this atmosphere of mounting danger, Chance meets his worst nightmare, the charming human parts broker Phase One Fenwick. Are the one-eyed Phase One and Chance really quite alike? Chance fears so, but hopes not. In a world in which there's a huge gap between self-image and reality, in which allies and enemies are nearly indistinguishable, where the house, as prophesized, looks unbeatable, and where even the biggest wins can be parlayed into something truly significant, Phase One offers Chance a last gasp hope for salvation--or ruin. With a cast of colorful characters that includes the City of Chicago itself, Good Money After Bad is a novel--that like its protagonist--skewers political correctness and revels in the ribald and ridiculous. Through Don Evans' deft prose and careful plotting, Chance Skinner joins a

pantheon of memorable Chicago literary characters, but also transcends geography to take his place alongside the likes of Kingsley Amis' Lord Jim and Joseph Heller's Yossarian. The publication of Evans' first novel Good Money After Bad promises to be an event, and the book itself, with its subtle interspersing of high drama and comic overtures, a distinguished addition to American letters.

Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year
ISBN: 0976021668

Can't Miss Press. 2008

Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year is an anthology chronicling the longest losing streak in sports history. Acclaimed authors such as Scott Simon, James Finn Garner, and Sara Paretsky take their places besides acclaimed fans like Ronnie Woo Woo Wickers, Lin Brehmer and Pat Brickhouse. The unique blend of voices, ranging from best-selling authors to long-time beer venders, explores the relationship these loyal fans have to their dubious team.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes. Don is available for speaking engagements--he has done many presentations centered around his own writing, including focuses on themes found in his books, like baseball, family, gambling, and Christmas. A lot of his presentations revolve around the greater world of Chicago literature. Through the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Don offers literary and walking tours in distinct sections of the city and suburbs, notably the Gold Coast and Oak Park, as well as theme-driven tours on topics such as journalism and the black literary renaissance. If you want Don to appear or to book a group literary tour, just email him. Some information about the tours can be found on the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame website.