Last night, my middle son played a baseball game in Jackson. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of him standing on second base with his last name on the scoreboard. This got me thinking about other places I’d been that bear my last name.
- Skiing down Jackwacker, a black diamond run in Colorado.
- Walking down Wacker Drive in Chicago.
- Reading about this iconic Midwestern street in a handful of novels over the years.
This journey down memory lane sparked a rabbit-hole google search, as I am wont to do. There, I found a dark underworld of writing that happens less than ten hours from us. As it turns out, Chicago is a literary hotbed.
Here’s a blurb from Julie Hyzy, a New York Times bestselling and Anthony Award-winning author, as found on Crime Reads, a website that covers all things bookishly criminal.
“Whether the setting is an alley behind a four-star hotel, or a shadowed corner of Lower Wacker Drive; whether our character is a greasy politician, or a newbie teacher in a troubled school, Chicago is the city that never stops giving.”
Just for fun, let’s find out who writes (wrote) from Chicago that you might know:
- Sara Peretsky: Crime/Mystery author
- Gillian Flynn: Psychological Thrillers
- Sandra Cisneros: Poet (books available as a book club kit)
- Ernest Hemingway: Classics
- Gwendolyn Brooks: Pulitzer Prize Winner
- Shel Silverstein: Beloved Children’s Lit
- Edgar Rice Burroughs: Think Tarzan
- Scott Turow: Legal Thrillers (many of which have been made into movies)
If you’re in the mood for great nonfiction, give Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson a try. This historical account shows the perfect intersection of America’s alleged first serial killer and the Chicago Word’s Fair of 1893.
Without too much effort and a quick trip to your local library, you can journey to the slopes of Keystone or amble across a bridge on Wacker Drive. Without any practice time or any talent, you can even play ball at Wrigley Field.
With a good book, nothing is impossible and no place is too far!
happy reading~ Jody