Linda Gartz



“Wouldn’t all of us love to have a journal, a memoir, a letter, from those we have loved and lost?”

— Anna Quindlin
Newsweek Magazine
January 22, 2007

Hello, Friends!

I want to share with you a perspective of Chicago impossible to get anywhere else. I can do that because I’ve dug through a vast archive of family letters, diaries, photos— and a lot more—that span the twentieth Century.

West Garfield Park

West Garfield Park, Map data ©2016 Google

I grew up in West Garfield Park, where my paternal grandparents settled in 1912 and where my family maintained rental property until 1995. During all those decades, so many in my family felt compelled to write. The amazing part is that they saved everything they wrote! It’s history as recorded by regular folks—as they lived it.

Lately, West Garfield Park is again front and center in news and politics. It’s tragic that it takes shootings and homicides to bring focus to this community, which has been ignored for decades.

Read my blog, CHICAGO: A VIEW OVER TIME, to find out how my discoveries in the archives give perspective to present-day issues facing Chicago, the West Side, and the nation—and how one family coped with this century’s most turbulent times.

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Watch for my forthcoming book!

Rising Up, a true story of love, race, forgiveness, and the sexual revolution

I’ve searched through long-hidden letters and diaries to discover how madness, distance, and my parents’ devotion to work in a devastated landscape claw at their happiness—as they struggle to cope with the racial and social revolutions of the 1960s. 



What people are saying

Real words from real readers!
  • As I begin to catalogue, pitch or absorb two big boxes of memorabilia of my parents, at least 10 years sitting on the floor in our office, i will think about the great job you have done of bringing your family to life and rescuing a part of history we have all shared. You are an inspiration!
  • Linda, at the start of a New Year, when I get to thinking about the old year in review, I can’t help but think of the blogs I’ve enjoyed reading the most. Yours has definitely been one of them. I’ve had the opportunity to designate your blog as a “Blog of the Year 2012” and want to thank you for sharing all that you’ve written on your family history.
  • I love the way your writing keeps drawing us forward in the story. We get to experience history as it happens, anticipating cataclysms the participants could never have foreseen.

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