The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.


By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 18, 2008 5:13PM

2008_02_wirick%20postcards%20cover.jpgThe art of the postcard is a delicate thing. How does one evoke the entirety of a place, a mood, and the very essence of travel into a tiny block of text with a picture on the front? From the "thinking of you" sentimental to the "wish you were here" silliness, most often they miss the point. We come away happy for sharing, but ultimately lost on the breadth of travel in the brevity of a postcard.

Writer and lawyer Richard Wirick and his wife adopted a baby girl from Siberia in 2005. In longing to tell his new daughter of her origins, Wirick struggled with how to convey her homeland to her and came away with a brilliant response in the form of One Hundred Siberian Postcards an at times poetic, magical, fictional, mythological, and factual history of Siberia. We've personally experienced Ukraine's harsh cities and the bread lands by the Black Sea, and this book captures that experience wonderfully. We can almost smell the Russian snow and fur, heavy with close-kept breath and hear the laughter and cries of an orphanage filled past capacity but bursting with the promise of a new life. The vignettes weave in and out of literary allusions to grand histories to the extremely personal, never losing the poignancy or immediacy from one postcard to the last.

Wirick reads from Siberian Postcards Wednesday at Women and Children First. In keeping with the length of his stories, Wirick promises the reading to be short, and followed by a sampling of rare vodkas, blinis, and zakutskies (Russian appetizers).

Wirick reads at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark,. Wednesday February 20, 7:30 p.m., free.