Over the last two decades, Mary Schmich’s biweekly column in the Chicago Tribune has offered advice, humor, and discerning commentary on a broad array of topics including family, milestones, mental illness, writing, and life in Chicago. Schmich won the 2012 Pulitzer for Commentary for “her down-to-earth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city.”
This book compiles her 10 Pulitzer-winning columns along with 154 others, creating a captivating collection that reflects Schmich’s thoughtful and insightful sensibility. Schmich’s 1997 “Wear Sunscreen” column (which has had a life of its own as a falsely attributed Kurt Vonnegut commencement speech) is included, as well as her columns focusing on the demolition of Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green housing project. One of the most moving sections is her 12-part series with US District Judge Joan Lefkow as the latter reflected on rebuilding her life after the horrific murders of her mother and husband.
Throughout the book, Schmich reflects wisely and wryly on the world we live in, and her fond observances of Chicago life bring the city in all its varied character to warm, vivid life.