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Carol is the author of the novels Carry the One, Lucky in the Corner, Seven Moves, Aquamarine. She has won the Carl Sandburg, Society of Midland Authors, and Ferro-Grumley awards for fiction.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and published in various periodicals including VLS, New Ohio Review, and Tin House. Her stories, “Hammam,” “Elvis Has Left the Building” and “The Last Speaker of the Language” were chosen for inclusion in Best American Short Stories of 1994, 1998 and 2012 respectively.

Anshaw is a past fellow of the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is also a painter.

She lives in Chicago and in Amsterdam with her partner, the filmmaker Jessie Ewing.  They were married in May, 2014. Their ring bearer, Tom, is pictured below.


  1. I’m a librarian in Mi,read Carry the One when it came out…love it! It’s my recommendation for all my readers who want intelligent fiction. Now I’m reading all your other fiction. Thanks!

  2. Just finished Carry the One which I picked up for no particular reason. I’ll buy it in paperback. So many memorable passages. That last paragraph on 911, all the descriptions of dogs, the ambiguities of friendships and love. Just really great writing. I’ll seek out your other stuff now and thank you. Gloria

  3. Blown away by how much I love CARRY THE ONE! Smiles, a few outright belly laughs, and, yes, moist eyeballs from time to time reading your beautiful, powerful (adjectives don’t cut it) novel. Maybe you have a book tour with Portland, Oregon among your stops! My email and phone are busy with my touting your latest. Looking forward to reading more Anshaw! Many thanks.

  4. Loved reading Carry the one as an e-book, with the extra’s at the end! Loved the scene’s in Amsterdam too, living in Amsterdam myself. In which season do you live here?

  5. Just finished Carry the One. Started it yesterday evening, read through the night, finished the last page today and immediately went to your website. I must say “Thank you” …..for sharing your talent, for putting into words actions, feelings and insights that I have not been able to articulate or write on paper. I lost my brother this Christmas. He was a “Nick” but never really functioned as well as Nick. I don’t know exactly why I purchased your book. It was on a table at Barnes and Noble and I was just drawn to the description on the back cover. I had no idea it would describe so accurately my life and feelings, and those of my brother’s. There’s a certain restful peace now….an understanding and acceptance reinforced by descriptive passages dealing with the relationship between Nick and his sisters and addiction.
    I’ll reread Carry the One. There’s so much to absorb and think about (outside of addiction issues). Time will also provide different perspectives. I really enjoyed my time “in the pages”. Also, I look forward to viewing your paintings.

    1. thanks for writing, janet. It means a lot to me when I hear from someone who has tried to rescue a sibling or friend from the sucking hole of addiction. a very particular, frustrating, harrowing, sorrowful experience. as you know all too well. I’m glad I could offer you something. comfort maybe?

  6. Hi Carol!
    My partner, Sally, and I just finished reading Aquamarine for our LGTBQ book group. Loved it! We are still trying to figure out what the “9” relates to in the chapter titled “6’s, 7’s, and 9’s.” Dying to know. We have your other books on order and look forward to reading more. PS – I was a competitive swimmer back in the day and really related to the color memories of being in the ‘zone.’ Keep on writing!

    1. thanks for writing. as you might imagine, aquamarine was a lot of fun to write. “6s and 7s and 9s” is a line from the stones’ tumbling dice. “my, my, my, I’m a lone crap shooter. I roll 6s and 7s and 9s.”

  7. I felt like an insider reading all of the lovely references to Chicago that only a Chicagoan would know, especially since I live in Rogers Park. Loved the book. Now I need to read more of your work!!

  8. I just finished “carry the one” and absolutely loved it! It was one of those books I couldn’t wait to get back to, yet wanted to read more slowly to savor it. You’ve really captured the complexities that make each character so human, so relate-able. How we can both love and loathe our siblings or our lovers. I will look out for your other novels now. Thank you.

    1. thanks, caitlin. I’m so happy to know when a reader connects with my work. I’m in the dark tunnel with a new book at the moment. hoping to eventually see the light of day .

  9. Won’t let my husband read ‘Carry the one’. i won’t allow him to discard it unfinished or air negative views. Do you think it is a ‘woman’s book’?
    I don’t think there is such a thing but that’s the excuse I gave for not letting him read it!
    I’d really like to meet the characters.
    Well done, an enjoyable read.

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