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Chicago Review Press Celebrates Its Golden Anniversary

October 23, 2023

CHICAGO—What started in the basement of a Chicago home has evolved into a prominent voice in independent publishing. This month, Chicago Review Press celebrates 50 years of publishing groundbreaking titles that inspire, entertain, and offer insight into an increasingly complex world.

A leader in independent publishing, Chicago Review Press has built a reputation for quality, quirkiness, and amplifying underrepresented voices, said Publisher Cynthia Sherry.

“When you find this little bit of history that’s been overlooked, that’s a defining theme for Chicago Review Press,” she said. “As we’ve grown, we’ve held true to and built upon our mission of providing a platform for writers and audiences who haven’t always found a space for their interests in other segments of the publishing industry.”

In addition to the biographies, histories, entertainment collections, and children’s books, the publisher’s six imprints have opened doors for marginalized and often-overlooked audiences. Lawrence Hill Books publishes Black-centered nonfiction; Parenting Press provides practical, nonjudgmental, and authoritative information to support children’s health and development in a changing world; and 2022 acquisition Interlude Press offers award-winning LGBTQ+ fiction for adult and young adult audiences.

The range of current Chicago Review Press releases speaks to the company’s increasingly diverse platform, including the bestselling and news making biography of a JFK Secret Service agent, The Final Witness; the critically acclaimed collection of Black-authored young adult horror stories, All These Sunken Souls (Amberjack); the inspirational education guide, The Montessori Potential (Parenting Press); and the latest in the successful Musicians in Their Own Words series, Prine on Prine.

Founded in October 1973 by then-University of Chicago graduate student Curt Matthews and his wife Linda, Chicago Review Press published its first titles from the couple’s basement—a book of contemporary Japanese poetry in translation and one of the first graphic novels to be published: Prairie State Blues by Bill Bergeron.

Chicago Review Press soon outgrew its basement office and moved its shipping operations to a former coffin factory and two different manufacturing buildings before moving in 1982 to its current home, a turn-of-the-century building in River North that previously housed the Nash Bicycle Company factory. Today, Chicago Review Press is home to six imprints and more than 1,700 titles in its backlist. The current catalog of both fiction and nonfiction ranges from children’s picture books to pop culture collections to historical biographies that grab international headlines.

Chicago Review Press currently publishes on a wide range of subjects including history, biography, true crime, music, film, and LGBTQ+, among others, as well as an award-winning line of children's activity books and biographies. The company is proud to remain independently owned and minded, Sherry said.

“As we enter our second half-century in business, Chicago Review Press continues to honor its longstanding mission and traditions, while also embracing new genres, audiences, and extraordinary ideas that move our industry and collective culture forward,” she said.


For more information on Chicago Review Press and its catalog, please contact Publicity Director Candysse Miller at [email protected].