Her essay collection, And These are The Good Times: A Chicago gal riffs on death, sex, life, dancing, writing, wonder, loneliness, place, family, faith, coffee, and the FBI (among other things) published by Side Street Press was named a finalist for the Montaigne Medal for most thought-provoking book of 2017.
The Temple of Air, McNair’s story collection published by Elephant Rock Books, received the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and the Society of Midland Authors (US) Finalist Award.
McNair has lived 98 percent of her life in the Midwest. She’s managed a gas station, served as a medical volunteer in Honduras, 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 received the Excellence in Teaching Award as well as a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year.
McNair’s work has appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals including American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, Barrelhouse, The Nervous Breakdown, Superstition Review, Dunes Review, Word Riot, Hypertext, Curbside Splendor e-zine, Prime Number, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and others. McNair also writes reviews for the Washington Independent Review of Books. Her short story, “My Mother’s Daughter,” won the Solstice Lit Mag Award for fiction in 2014. She is also published in The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction edited by Dinty W. Moore. She’s received numerous Illinois Arts Council Awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction and nonfiction.
McNair lives in Chicago with her husband, the visual artist Philip Hartigan (www.philiphartigan.com), and the ghosts of their cats, Pablo and Enrique.
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