Illinois Authors

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Kate Wisel

Connection to Illinois: Wisel lived in Chicago. She teaches at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University.

Biography: Kate Wisel teaches at Loyola University and Columbia College Chicago. Her fiction has appeared in publications that include Gulf Coast, Tin House online, The Best Small Fictions 2019, Redivider (as winner of the Beacon Street Prize), and elsewhere. She was a Carol Houck Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been awarded scholarships at Writing x Writers, The Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, The Juniper Institute, and elsewhere.

  • Driving in Cars with Homeless Men: Stories Pitt Drue Heinz Literature Prize, 2019; Library Journal Best Book, 2019

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Driving in Cars with Homeless Men: Stories
ISBN: 0822966271 OCLC: 1247552711

University of Pittsburgh Press 2020

Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bars, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of a working-class Boston. Serena, Frankie, Raffa, and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Through the gritty, unraveling truths of their lives, they find themselves in the bed of an overdosed lover, through the panting tongue of a rescue dog who is equally as dislanguaged as his owner, in the studio apartment of a compulsive liar, sitting backward but going forward in the galley of an airplane, in relationships that are at once playgrounds and cages. Homeless Men is the collective story of women whose lives careen back into the past, to the places where pain lurks and haunts. With riotous energy and rage, they run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.