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For years, Chicagoan Vicki Quade has been telling stories as a journalist, playwright, theater producer, and performer. So it’s not surprising she has a way of connecting with quirky characters during mundane, everyday occurrences.
Playwright and producer best known for her comedy, Late Nite Catechism, Quade has announced a new venture, a book called Close Encounters of a Chicago Kind, based on those very characters she runs into almost daily. It’s published by Eckhartz Press, Chicago.
In this pandemic time, Quade said she hopes her book reminds people of “the public interactions we will eventually get back to.”
Close Encounters of a Chicago Kind is a compilation of stories, examining the lives that brush past her on city streets, in banks, at the grocery store or in restaurants. With a sharp wit and empathetic skill, Quade colorfully recreates brief scenarios that range from the comic to the bizarre to the dangerous – and all are unique to the spirit of the Windy City.
Her next step, she says, will be taking the stories she loves the most and turning them into a performance piece. “I think these will work really well on stage, especially given the quirky people in them,” she said.
Her book, out in time for holidays sales, is already getting wonderful reviews.
“Call Vicki Quade the anti-quotidian,” says Don Rose, noted Chicago political consultant and journalist. “There is nothing ‘everyday’ about her experiences, her interactions and especially her keen, well reported observations. She is an oddity magnet. More odd things unfurl before her on almost every outing than happen to most of us in a season--funny things, sad things, sometimes even dangerous things, or just plain odd things. That's in part because she is a hyper-curious buttinsky, often launching conversations with strangers our mothers warned us against, emerging with priceless stories and anecdotes. You will find yourself amazed, amused, or just drop your jaw, but it's all true. I swear it is.”

Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader, noted, “I love observational journalism. When a writer simply listens and watches, and interprets a story through their senses. Chicagoan Vicki Quade is that kind of writer. She beautifully captures the small nuances of movement and conversation that make Chicago what it is—a city of people, a city of neighborhoods, and a city of a million stories, big and small.”

Will Clinger, producer and host of Wild Travels on PBS, added, “Vicki Quade is a Chicago treasure with an abiding curiosity about the world around her, and sprinkled among these fly-on-the-wall stories are some valuable tips on things to see and experiences to have in our great city.”

More information is available at: https://eckhartzpress.com/shop/close-encounters-of-a-chicago-kind.

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