Creative Writing Alum Toya Wolfe MFA '15 Announces Debut Novel

Toya Wolfe headshot next to the cover of her novel
Last Summer on State Street, published by William Morrow, will be available June 14.

Columbia College Chicago alum and author Toya Wolfe MFA ’15 is pleased to announce the release of her debut novel, Last Summer on State Street. 

Published by William Morrow, the book will be available on June 14, 2022. The story is inspired by Wolfe’s own experience in Chicago and explores the impact of racist institutions, redlining, gentrification, relationships, and the power of owning one’s past. Wolfe, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago’s South Side, is the recipient of various literary awards for her short stories, which have appeared in African Voices, Chicago Journal, and Chicago Reader 

Last Summer on State Street has already been recognized with a "starred” review from Booklist, and named on Publishers Weekly’s “Best Summer Reads” list. 

“Interweaving moments of reckoning and sustaining grace, Wolfe has crafted an era-defining story of finding a home — both in one’s history and in one’s self,” according to the Publishers Weekly review.   

Previously, Wolfe was a featured student writer at Columbia’s 2016 Creative Writing Reading Series. 

You can catch Wolfe on her promotional tour for the book’s release at the following events in Chicago this summer:  

  • Tuesday, June 14, 7 p.m., Semicolon Books, (reading/signing launch event hosted by Natalie Moore) 
  • Tuesday, June 21, 6:30 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Deerfield, (reading/signing) 
  • Wednesday, July 20, 6 p.m., Harold Washington Library, with Toya Wolfe and Dawn Turner, author of Three Girls from Bronzeville (in-person and virtual) 

The book can be pre-ordered online at Harper Collins and can be found in stores on June 14.