When it comes to the subject of relationships, rarely has the public seen the kind of wit and honesty from male authors and commentators that Nick Chiles demonstrated in the bestselling What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know (William Morrow) three-book series. And he demonstrated it again in the novels Love Don't Live Here Anymore, In Love and War and A Love Story (all from Dutton). No longer content to sit by and let others define and belittle the way black men live and love, Chiles is a fresh and engaging voice for African-American men and women who are trying to negotiate the difficult terrain of love, life and relationships in a new millenium.
For two decades, since he received a BA in psychology from Yale in 1986, Chiles has been observing the way African-American boys are raised into men in this country and the many ways in which their view of the world gets ignored or discounted, often by their own community.
In What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know, which Chiles wrote with his wife Denene Millner, he offered the public an unusual opportunity to discover the way brothers see their world and their women. The public’s response was phenomenal: when the book hit stores in February 1999, it took only a month to jump to the top of the Blackboard Bestsellers List as the top-selling black non-fiction book in the country. The book also received much critical acclaim, from Publisher’s Weekly to the Washington Post, from Essence to the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to Essence, "The book’s honest, witty dialogue format makes reading it like getting inside your lover’s head. Readers will walk away from this kiss-and-tell survival guide with hundreds of secrets--all from a sister and brother perspective."
A review in the St. Petersburg Times said, "From the trivial to the heartbreakingly serious, time and again, the couple hit on fundamental truths about relationships. What a shame if their book only reaches a black audience: Couples of all colors could benefit from such an honest exchange. Chiles should be especially commended for breaking away from his gender’s macho stereotype."
The acclaim was just as enthusiastic for the intimately profound What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex and the brutally honest Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know, which received a 2001 Gold Pen Award nomination from the Black Writers Alliance for best finance nonfiction book.
Regarding the couple's first fiction effort, Love Don't Live Here Anymore, Booklist called it "a powerful fiction debut...written with humor, compassion and honesty." And Publishers Weekly said, "in this entertaining first novel...the authors offer an insightful look at modern marriage."
Publishers Weekly said of their second novel, In Love and War, "These sharp-tongued, intelligent protagonists crackle with life...A textured portrait of the suburban community." And Kirkus Reviews called the book "a thoughtful and lively story from a husband-wife team who blend two distinctive voices into a seamless, satisfying whole." Their last novel, A Love Story, was hailed by Kirkus Reviews as "another earthy, funny, juicy winner, the third from this husband-and-wife team."
Over the past six years, Chiles and Millner have spoken at dozens of colleges across the country, discussing their writing and their relationship. They have appeared on television and radio shows in markets across the country--including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Houston and Cincinnati. What Chiles hears over and over from African-American men is how grateful they are that someone has finally stepped forward and explored what brothers think in the relationship realm. Theirs were voices crying out to be heard, a silence waiting to be broken by keen insightful articulation.
In numerous ways, Chiles has devoted himself to observing and supporting young black males: as a father, a newspaper reporter, a teacher, and a mentor.
In addition to helping raise his son Mazi from a previous marriage, Chiles was a long-time mentor to a young male from Newark. Chiles also spent 10 years as a writing instructor at Legal Outreach, Inc., a Harlem-based program that prepares high school students for careers in law, and served as an editorial director for Harlem Overheard, a youth newspaper which focuses on issues affecting young people in the Harlem community.
During his writing career, Nick Chiles has distinguished himself as a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist.
As a journalist, he spent the bulk of his career as an education reporter, but he has also covered politics, health and social services. He has won over a dozen major journalism awards, including a 1992 Pulitzer Prize as part of the New York Newsday staff covering a fatal subway crash, the 1993 and 1989 National Education Reporting Award presented by the Education Writers Association, the 1992 Deadline Club Award, the 1989 Local Reporting Award of Excellence presented by the New York State Publishers’ Association, and three New Jersey Press Association education reporting awards in 1996, 1997 and 1998 with The Star-Ledger of New Jersey. Chiles also ventured into the dot-com world, serving as Senior Editor for a multicultural website for women called SayShe.com until January 2001. In March 2001, he rejoined the Newsday staff, covering education and politics. He left Newsday in April 2003 to become Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur, a new multicultural travel magazine.
As a fiction writer, he also published a short story in the anthology, Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America (Ballantine), which won a 1996 American Book Award.
Chiles was born in Manhattan and raised in New Jersey. He currently resides in the Atlanta metro area with his wife Denene, who is also author of the bestselling classic The Sistahs’ Rules: Secrets for Meeting, Getting and Keeping a Good Black Man (William Morrow), and their daughters Mari and Lila.