Patricia McNair

Patricia Ann McNair has lived 98 percent of her life in the Midwest. She’s managed a gas station, sold pots and pans door to door, tended bar and breaded mushrooms, worked on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and taught aerobics. Today she is an Associate Professor in the English and Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she directs the undergraduate creative writing programs and teaches in the creative writing MFA programs. She is the recipient of Columbia’s Teaching Excellence Award, and was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year. McNair’s short story collection, The Temple of Air, was awarded Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and a finalist award by the Society of Midland Authors. It was called “violently creative” by the Chicago Sun Times, and “plainspoken yet imaginative, complexly unnerving” by Booklist. McNair’s essay collection, And These Are the Good Times, was selected as a finalist for the Montaigne Medal for the most thought-provoking book of 2017. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have been published widely, and she writes travel articles and book reviews for various publications. McNair is currently at work on a novel, Climbing the House of God Hill, and a collection of stories, What Girls Want.

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