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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Vic!



Thursday, 7 p.m., Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St.

"On the 50th birthday of V.I. Warshawski, the famous female sleuth in Sara Paretsky's mystery novels, the author will lead the third annual scholarship awards presentation. The college scholarships will go to selected high school students who spent some time with homeless people. Students will read from their essays and Paretsky will sign copies of her novel, Ghost Country, about a homeless woman. There will also be birthday cake to celebrate Warshawski's birthday."

In honor of one of my favorite characters of all time in Fiction, P.I. V.I. Warshawski, and her happy day, here's a little contest for you: send me an email with the word "GUMSHOE" in the subject line and the item you think you might find Vic knitting someday on a stakeout included in the body portion of the message...


WIN this Regia sock yarn to make some Cool Socks for your Gumshoes...

[Winner selected by Random Draw on Sunday...]

One of the greatest and happiest mysteries of my life is the connection that takes place when the circuit completes: take the cord of the written word and plug it into the socket of my brain.

And surprisingly (or not), one of the strongest hookups for me has been the novels of Sara Paretsky. She's from here. I'm not from here. But I've been here long enough and have a job that throws me out on unexpected landscapes with abandon to the point I relate to Warshawki in a way that can only be described as uncanny.

One of my dearest friends is from Vic's neighborhood and has taught me all about the difference between Chicago St. (near where I live) and S. South Chicago Ave. That's right - South South - and that's the world Warshawki is always going back to and getting lost and locked up with in her many detective adventures. It is a part of the city where if you didn't grow up here, you would get lost in as soon as you got off at the Indy Ave exit.

Paretsky's writing opens up the Region like no other - the incredible melting pot; the industrial wasteland of a landscape; the people who hang on to their heritage old and new with strength and continuity while trying to find the dream and survive the predators.

The very best thing I like about Warshawki is that she never gives up. Never takes the path of least resistance. Even when it might not be the wisest thing to do. Knock Knock...

I'm there.

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