Anita Solick Oswald
Anita Solick Oswald is a Chicago native. Her essays have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, the
Faircloth Literary Review, The Fat City Review, and Avalon Literary Review. She is a member of the Chicago Writers’
Association and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She is also a founding member of the Boulder Writing Studio, and works with the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado. She lives in Niwot, Colorado with her husband and two cats.
West Side Girl (Non-fiction, Biographies and Memoirs)
West Side Girl chronicles the colorful and oftentimes unpredictably eccentric characters and adventures of Chicago’s West Side in the 1950’s and 60’s. These visceral and nostalgic essays transport you into the world of a ragtag brigade of migrant and immigrant children finding themselves in a rapidly changing community. The daughter of a fireman and frustrated-writerturned-housewife, Anita Oswald portrays life from her family’s third-story apartment and Bohemian Madison Street restaurant with a fresh perspective. These stories of equality and nascent social justice are equal parts outrageous, insightful, funny, and touching.
What began as sharing family stories with her daughters turned into a project years in the making. Inspired by a desire to bring the family closer, this collection speaks to generations past while inviting readers of all ages and backgrounds to tap into the raucous adventures of Anita’s childhood. West Side Girl is a bridge between decades, an invitation to step into her life, and better understand your own because of it.
West Side Girl doesn’t simply tell the stories of this neighborhood, it continues the conversation and deepens real-world connections. All royalties from book sales will go to Off the Street Club, a Chicago nonprofit that supports at-risk youth. Founded in 1900, the organization serves more than 3,000 kids in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, West Garfield Park, where Anita grew up.