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Daniel Greene, former President and Librarian of the Newberry and Pattis Award jury member said: "Toya Wolfe's debut novel is an endearing, memorable, and page-turning work with broad appeal and deep 'Chicago heart.' Set during an important turning point in the history of public housing in Chicago, Last Summer on State Street is a compelling story of friendship, community, and home."
Toya Wolfe expressed her gratitude for being chosen as the recipient of the award: "It is such an incredible blessing to receive the Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award. Last Summer on State Street is my debut novel, and to win a prestigious award for my first literary endeavor is wildly affirming and will support me as I begin writing a new novel and TV pilots. I am so grateful to The Pattis Family Foundation and the Newberry Library for establishing this award; on behalf of Chicago writers, thank you for all the ways in which you lift us up and cheer us on!"
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The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award is open to writers working in a variety of genres including history, biography, social sciences, poetry, drama, graphic novels and fiction—all relating to Chicago. Dawn Turner was awarded with the inaugural Pattis Award in 2022 for Three Girls from Bronzeville. Heather Hendershot was also recognized as shortlist award recipient for authoring When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America. She will receive an award of $2,500.
Mark and Lisa Pattis from The Pattis Family Foundation commented: "The purpose of our series of book awards is to shine a spotlight on exemplary books and to enhance public understanding of various subject matters. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Newberry Library in order to engage Chicagoans with authors and works that transform understanding of our city, its history, and its people. The selection of Toya Wolfe's poignant debut novel Last Summer on State Street is a terrific fit with the prize's goal. Our congratulations to Toya and our gratitude to the Newberry Library and committee members."
The presentation ceremony for 2023 Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award will take place at a free public event at The Newberry Library on Saturday July 15th 2023 where Toya Wolfe will be presented with her award by Gail Kern Paster Interim President & Librarian at The Newberry Library. This event will also serve as a celebration for storytelling &Chicago featuring speakers whose work strives towards changing communities for betterment.
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