Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Paretsky Uncensored
During an appearance at the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival in her native Kansas, Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski novels, spoke about many things, but her writing wasn't one of them, reports the Dowagiac News.
"I don't know how I do what I do," she said. "I've never had any technical training as a writer. I'm afraid that if I tinker with the mechanism too much by thinking about it or talking about it, it will go away and leave me as mysteriously as it came."
Paretsky talked about leaving Kasas for New York but failing to get her foot in the door at that literary holy grail, The New Yorker. She moved to Chicago and became a secretary and completed her first novel while she was in her 30s.
"I wrote from an early age, but I knew like all fields, literature belonged to men. History and biography we studied in school told us of the deeds of men. We learned to speak of the aspirations of mankind and of man's inhumanity to man. His inhumanity to woman not being worth recording," Paretsky said."
Paretsky also had strong words about what she sees going on in her home state today.
"In the minds of writers like Ann Coulter and the views of the dominant voices setting public policy today and the speech of talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh," Paretsky said, "we are seeing a strong push to return to the days of my youth. Indeed, when I see Congress ready to pass a bill allowing pharmacists to withhold contraceptives from women or read abstinence-only materials that tell girls 'never act too smart because nature and God intend girls to be subordinate to boys,' or when people like Tom DeLay lay social ills on women working outside the home. Tom DeLay said - you can read it in the Congressional Record, where I did - Columbine was due to two things, women working outside the home and the teaching of evolution. He said our young people could not tell the difference between apes and humans - although I have never yet seen an ape with a semi-automatic pistol," she said.

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