South Chicago

The map that I’ve put at the top of the blog is a slice of a stylized drawing of South Chicago, the neighborhoodsouthchicago_map2 where V I Warshawski grew up.  I’ve given her a fictitious high school, but Bowen High is where she would have gone.  The Skyway, the elevated highway that cuts the neighborhood in half, is a prominent part of the landscape in Fire Sale: homeless people live underneath, and it’s full, too, of garbage that people throw from their cars.  This little bit of map doesn’t show Deadstick pond, but if you go on down Stony Island Avenue another four miles, you come to Chicago’s landfill, and the last of the marshes.  V I grew up on Houston Street, between 90th and 91st.  That’s one of the little streets not included in the map, but it would lie between Mackinaw and Exchange.  Also in this neighborhood: a surprising monument to the battle of Waterloo, erected by a soldier who fought there and who lived in the swamps that became South Chicago.

  • Great map Sara. It was going to be one of my next requests. My husband is forever saying how he’d like maps when he reads your books.

  • genny

    Sara, I love it! As a Midwesterner at heart, it’s great reminder of the wonderful aspects of Chicago. Thanks so much.

  • Pascale

    As a Frenchwoman living in Germany, I can assure you this map is lovely to look at, in an “exotic” way ! It is of course very useful too and makes VI all the more alive. Many thanks Ms Paretsky – I feel this blog is like a Christmas pressie …

  • corkhead

    What a great tool with which to “see” VI’s environment a little more clearly. The only on-screen sights of Chicago I’ve seen are those used in the TV series “ER” where it always appears to be either snowing or raining. That can’t be true, can it?

  • ken

    My introduction to VI having come from listening to radio adaptations of novels 2&3 on the BBC7 website, I found it natural to follow the action using & with ‘birds eye’ & ‘street view’ respectively. I can, for example, see there’s a branch library at the corner of 91 St & Houston Ave.

  • I M Fleetwood

    I like this map and wished it was avalible when I was in Chicago in Nov/Dec 2008.

    Maybe I can use it next time i’m there which i hope wuill be in Sept 2010.


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