'The Chi'
Photo: Matt Dinerstein/Showtime

The Chi

Lena Waithe

Fresh off an Emmy for her Master of None Thanksgiving episode, screenwriter Waithe weaves together stories of black men, young and old, living on the South Side of Chicago in this new series. January 7, Showtime

Lost Opera: The Way to Andina

Arlen Parsa

When Parsa discovered that his great-grandfather had written a long-lost opera, the Columbia College graduate—a filmmaker and opera novice—decided to stage a premiere and document the delightful, if often disastrous, process. January 25 at 9 p.m., WTTW

Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

Tracy Heather Strain

The longtime filmmaker chronicles the life of South Side native Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun and the first black woman to have her work performed on Broadway. January 19 at 9 p.m., WTTW


Photo: Courtesy of Netflix


Joe Swanberg

In the second season, the local auteur digs into his favorite themes—love, sex, and relationships—with snapshots of such Chicago-set characters as an entitled graphic novelist (Marc Maron) and a struggling couple who decide to try open marriage. Netflix




David Mamet

In his first novel in more than two decades, the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright follows the intertwining fates of a crew of 1920s Chicago gangsters and the tireless Tribune reporter investigating the murder of his lover. February 27, Custom House

'The Clubhouse Thief'
Photo: Courtesy of New Issues Poetry & Prose

The Clubhouse Thief

James Janko

The LaSalle, Illinois, resident’s novel unfolds on the eve of a historic World Series game when an old-school white Cubs coach has a political awakening after several players announce their support of a Muslim woman for president. January 16, New Issues Poetry & Prose

The Undressing

Li-Young Lee

The local poet, a three-time Pushcart Prize winner, has mined his past—he was born to Chinese parents living in exile in Indonesia—in his lyrical writing. Calling himself an “amateur mystic,” Lee draws inspiration from such varied sources as the Old Testament and Wu-Tang Clan in his new wandering, romantic collection. February 20, W.W. Norton

'The House of Broken Angels'
Photo: Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

The House of Broken Angels

Luis Alberto Urrea

Known for his nuanced, wrenching depictions of the Mexican immigrant experience, the University of Illinois at Chicago English professor tells the story of a San Diego family’s bittersweet reunion in the wake of a death. March 6, Little, Brown



'Tape Recorder'
Photo: Courtesy of artist

Tape Recorder


With Chicago singer Stewart Bronaugh and drummer Joshua Jaeger at the helm, this experimental group spins psych-infused rock into bright, commiserative tunes that can shepherd even the most cynical of listeners through the gloomiest days of winter. February 23, Bayonet Records


Fall Out Boy

In the 10 years since the band from Wilmette first broke out, the group has morphed from pop-punk balladeers to anthem-rock hit makers. But with the release of its seventh album, Fall Out Boy—led by bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz—returns to its angsty roots. January 19, Island Records

'Cannonball Porch'
Photo: Courtesy of artist

Cannonball Porch

Hood Smoke

With bouncing basslines and rich, bright vocals from frontman Bryan Doherty, this Chicago-based band recalls such ’70s stars as Aretha Franklin and James Brown. February 23, Ears & Eyes Records

Being There and A.M. Reissues


More than 20 years after releasing the two albums that established them as alt-rock heroes, the Chicago-based band has reissued both. The combined 79 tracks include alternate takes of favorites like “Say You Miss Me” and a gritty recording of a 24-song live set at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.