The goal of Big Shoulders Books is to disseminate, free of charge, quality anthologies of writing by and about Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared. Each year Big Shoulders Books aims to make small but meaningful contributions to discussions of injustice and inequality in Chicago.


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Now Available:

In 2011 and 2012, while more than 900 people were being murdered on the streets of Chicago, creative-writing students from DePaul University fanned out all over the city to interview people whose lives have been changed by the bloodshed. The result is How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence, an extraordinary and eye-opening work of oral history.

Told by real people in their own words, the stories in How Long Will I Cry? are at turns harrowing, heartbreaking and full of hope.

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What People Are Saying

“It’s the power of what follows here, the frank and often profound reflections of those who have been there, of those who have lost. In their words, often philosophical and poetic, they move us to see what they see and to hear what they hear. They make us all feel less alone.”

Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here and co-producer of the award-winning film The Interrupters

“Outstanding. … An incredibly rich and compelling examination that deepens our understanding.”

—Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune