Let me preface this post by saying two; there will never be a perfect list (see 20 under 40 post), and the internet loves lists. Last week New City Lit published their 2011 Lit 50 list and you can read it on-line here.
I've taken a few days before writing this post because I did not want to make any snap judgement like the ones you might find in the comment section of the list (ahem, sorry CJ). Overall, I get what New City was trying to do this year. This is not a list of the 50 best writers in Chicago or the 50 writers that made big impressions in the last year, but this is a list that gives some much deserved credit to a few of the unsung but much loved figures around the Chicago Lit scene. I loved seeing Danielle Chapman on this list. She manages the Chicago Publishers Gallery and ChicagoPublishes.com, and is so passionate about about the scene. Speaking of passion I love that the Book Cellar's Suzy Takacs is also on this list. I can't think of anyone who is more loving and giving and supportive in this city.
The list this year is filled with the people that work more behind the scenes, Stacy Ratner from Open Books, Don Evans from Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Nell Taylor from Chicago Underground Library, and so on. I feel that adding editors, book store owners, librarians, and publishers to this list really makes it a more complete representation of the Chicago scene. Yes, there are some surprised and some easy picks, but overall I love this list and what it represents.