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Kisor is the retired book editor of the Chicago Sun-Times as well as the
author of four nonfiction books and six mystery novels. He is also
the co-author of one children’s book.
He writes a series of mystery novels set in the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan: Season’s Revenge (2003), A Venture into Murder(2005), Cache of Corpses(2007), Hang Fire (2013), Tracking the Beast and The Riddle of Billy Gibbs (both 2016).
His nonfiction works are What’s That Pig
Outdoors?: A Memoir of Deafness (1990 and 2010), Zephyr: Tracking a Dream Across America (1994 and 2012)
and Flight of the Gin Fizz: Midlife at 4,500
Feet (1997 and 2012).
His newest book, written with co-author Christine Goodier, is Traveling with Service Animals: By Air, Road, Rail and Ship Across North America,published by the University of Illinois Press (2019). His service dog, Trooper, is a 4-year-old
schnoodle (a mix
of miniature schnauzer and miniature poodle). Trooper alerts his
Kisor's books have been published abroad in German, Dutch and United
Kingdom editions. Most are available online as ebooks, and some in paperback form.
He writes two blogs, The Reluctant Blogger and The Whodunit Photographer.
He was the book editor of the Chicago
Daily News from 1973 to 1978, then of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1978 to his
retirement in 2006.
His reviews and articles have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Los
Angeles Times, the Washington Post and on MSNBC.com.
Between 1977 and 1982 he was an adjunct instructor at Northwestern
University’s Medill School of Journalism.
From 1983 to 1986 he wrote a weekly syndicated column on personal
computers that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles
Herald-Examiner, Orlando Sentinel, Seattle Times and other newspapers.
He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1981. The
Friends of Literature awarded him the first James Friend Memorial
Critic Award in 1988 and the Chicago Foundation for Literature Award
for Nonfiction in 1991 for What’s
That Pig Outdoors? In 1991 Trinity College awarded him a honorary Doctor of Letters
degree. In 2001 he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of
In 2020 he and his co-author, Christine Goodier, won the Silver prize for guidebooks for their Traveling with Service Animals in the Society of American Travel Writers' annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awarda competition.
Educated at Trinity College (B.A., 1962) in Hartford, Conn., and at
Northwestern University (M.S.J., 1964) in Evanston, Ill., Kisor began
his newspaper career in 1964 with the old Evening Journal in
He winters in Evanston, Illinois, and summers in Ontonagon, Michigan,
with his wife, Deborah Abbott. They have two sons, Colin, an
attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and a captain in the Navy Reserve (m. Melody Pershyn), and
Conan, a corporate communications editor and writer for the Boeing
Company (m. Annie Tully). They also have two grandsons, William
Henry Kisor and Conan Emmet Kisor, and two granddaughters, Elizabeth
Maria Kisor and Alice Flynn Kisor.