It was a sunny summer day in the late eighties, and Jan and I were stationed at a booth at a South Loop street fair, promoting our new newspaper, when a young couple pushing a little girl in a stroller stopped by and struck up a conversation. The dad was an aspiring young writer, and we were an aspiring young publication so…
As we worked together on many stories in those early years and in the decades since, the writer, Ted Fishman, became a close friend, along with his wife Sara. Ted’s career as a national magazine writer and bestselling author took off, and we traveled together—China, Brazil, even a dude ranch in Colorado. Our families spent times of happiness together, like weddings, birthdays and graduations, and supported each other at sadder times, like funerals, as well.
So when that little girl in the stroller, Elly, grew up and became a writer like her father, I had seen the progress all along the way. And with her first book, “Refugee High,” scheduled to publish this month, I wanted us to cover it in a way that reflects and acknowledges the life we’ve all shared. It’s unconventional and, usually, just wrong to have someone close to a subject write about them, but sometimes breaking the rules makes more sense than following them. So I asked Ted to write about Elly and her first book, in hopes that his front-row seat throughout her journey would yield a richness of insight no other writer could tap into. I think it worked.
Look for Newcity’s August 2021 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
IN THIS ISSUE
The Conversation: Elly Fishman discusses “Refugee High”
Ways of Seeing: Vivian Maier’s photographs tell stories of an earlier Chicago
In the Land of the Enchanted Highway: In search of art and salvation where the buffalo roam
On Vacation: Meditations on getting away
Get a Job: A cartoonist’s sketchy work history