In a departure from her usual fiction and mystery books, Paretsky turns her pen to her childhood and the significant events that shaped her writing. It’s fascinating stuff. Her eccentric parents moved their family to a secluded part of Lawrence, Kansas and raised her conservatively, keeping her at home to take care of household tasks. Her brother had taught her to read, and she began telling stories from a very young age.
As a graduate student in 1969, Sara remembers being paralyzed by a professor, the first person ever, to ask her what she wanted to do with her life. Having been sent to secretarial school, in case she didn’t marry right away, this was a new idea for her. Of that time she says, “it was my great good fortune to come of age just when America became a land of great possibility and opportunity.” It was our great fortune as well, for Paretsky has remained actively involved with the social issues that are important to her. From her first volunteer experience on Chicago’s south side to the founding of Sisters in Crime, Paretsky’s exploration of modern day America is compelling and memorable.