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Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful to Me Now: On Hope, Loss, and Wearing Sunscreen

Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful to Me Now: On Hope, Loss, and Wearing Sunscreen

Carrie: I am a clipper - of ads, articles, comics and columns, so how lovely it is when they are collected for me in one place!  This compendium of our very own Chicago Tribune columnist’s greatest hits is worth a read and re-read and a share and “listen to this” with a book buddy.  She writes most poignantly about the human side of the news, and usually spends ample time on reflection about the meaning in events big and small.  Some of these gems are anchored in time, like 9/11 (“Going to Ground Zero”) and Hurricane Katrina, (“The Last Man in New Orleans”); others have Chicago flavor (Michael Jordan, Mayor Daley, Roger Ebert); all are thoughtful, well-written, and shareable.

What it means when your father dies. How it feels when summer comes. What it's like to live in a great but troubled American city. The value of wearing sunscreen.

These are just a few of the topics that Mary Schmich addresses in this second, expanded edition of Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful to Me Now, a collection of her columns from the Chicago Tribune, including the 10 that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Schmich is the rare newspaper columnist whose writing resonates long after it's published and far beyond the place she lives. She may be best known for a column widely called "Wear Sunscreen"--misattributed to Kurt Vonnegut and turned into a hit recording by Baz Luhrmann--but her writing ranges as widely as life itself. It can be slyly humorous, deeply moving, or tough. She addresses subjects as varied as family love, sexual harassment, long friendships, poverty, and Chicago violence.

Every city has its voices, the enduring writers who both explain and create a city's culture. Chicago has had many, including the legendary Mike Royko and Studs Terkel. Mary Schmich is among them. In a hectic age, her writing lifts us, calms us, and helps us understand.

Publication Date: 
November 5, 2019