June 8, 1947|
University of Kansas, Lawrence, BA in political science (summa cum laude) 1967|
University of Chicago, M.B.A. 1977
University of Chicago, PhD in history 1977
|Spouse||S. Courtenay Wright, m. 1976|
|Relatives||David (father), Mary (mother)|
Life and career
Paretsky was born in Ames, Iowa. Her father was a microbiologist and moved the family to Kansas in 1951 after taking a job at the University of Kansas, where Paretsky eventually graduated. Being Jewish, the family was limited in where they could live due to segregated zoning laws at the time, and they ended up renting an old farm house. Her relationship with her parents was strained; her mother was an alcoholic and her father was a harsh disciplinarian.
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Kansas, she did community service work on the south side of Chicago in 1966 and returned in 1968 to work there. She ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago; her dissertation was entitled "The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New England Before the Civil War". She also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
She was to appear in an amateur light opera production in 2011.
The protagonist of all but two of Paretsky's novels is V.I. Warshawski, a female private investigator. She created her as a female response to male hard-boiled detectives such as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe.
In 1991 the film V.I. Warshawski was released starring Kathleen Turner. The lead character came from Paretsky, and although the film is based on the novel Deadlock, several changes were made from the book.
Paretsky is credited with transforming the role and image of women in the crime novel. The Winter 2007 issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection is devoted to her work. She is also considered the founding mother of Sisters in Crime, an organization that supports and promotes women in the mystery field.
- Indemnity Only (1982) ISBN 0385272138
- Deadlock (1984) ISBN 0385279337
- Killing Orders (1985) ISBN 068804820X
- Bitter Medicine (1987) ISBN 0688064485
- Blood Shot (1988) (Published in the UK as Toxic Shock) ISBN 0440500354
- Burn Marks (1990) ISBN 0385298927
- Guardian Angel (1992) ISBN 0385299311
- Tunnel Vision (1994) ISBN 038529932X
- Ghost Country (1998) ISBN 978-0-385-33336-8 (non-Warshawski novel)
- Hard Time (1999) ISBN 0-385-31363-2
- Total Recall (2001) ISBN 0-385-31366-7
- Blacklist (2003) ISBN 0-399-15085-4
- Fire Sale (2005) ISBN 978-0-7394-5594-4
- Bleeding Kansas (2008) ISBN 978-0-399-15405-8 (non-Warshawski novel)
- Hardball (2009) ISBN 978-1-101-13382-8
- Body Work (2010) ISBN 978-0-399-15674-8
- Breakdown (2012) ISBN 978-1-101-55407-4
- Critical Mass (2013) ISBN 978-1-101-63650-3
- Brush Back (2015) ISBN 978-0-399-16057-8
- Fallout (2017) ISBN 978-1473624337
Short story collections
- Windy City Blues, Delacorte (1995) (1988) (Published in the UK as V.I. for Short) ISBN 0385315023
- A Taste of Life and Other Stories, London, Penguin, (1995). ISBN 0146000404
- Photo Finish (2000) ISBN 978-1-101-53751-0
- V.I. x 2 (2002) includes short stories 'Photo Finish' & 'Publicity Stunts'
- V.I. x 3 (2011) includes both stories from V.I. x 2 and 'A Family Sunday in the Park' ISBN 9781257416448
- Case Studies in Alternative Education. Chicago Center for New Schools, 1975 .
- Writing in an Age of Silence (2007) ISBN 978-1-84467-122-9
- Words, Works, and Ways of Knowing: The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New England Before the Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
- Eye of a Woman (short stories). New York, Delacorte Press, 1990 ; as A Woman's Eye: New Stories by the Best Women Crime Writers, London, Virago, 1991
- Women on the Case (1997) ISBN 978-0-440-22325-2; as Woman's Other Eye, London, Virago, 1996
- Sisters on the Case (2007) ISBN 978-0-451-22239-8
Awards and recognition
- 1986 Anthony award nomination for best novel, Killing Orders
- 1989 Anthony award nomination for best novel, Blood Shot
- 1992 Anthony award winner of best short story collection award, A Woman's Eye
- 2002 Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement by the Crime Writers' Association.
- 2004 Gold Dagger Award for Blacklist by the Crime Writers' Association.
- 2011 Anthony award Lifetime Achievement award winner
- 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America
- "REVELS TO PERFORM 'THE BALLAD OF SCAVENGER GULCH' ON JAN. 28–29" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). States News Service. Jan 25, 2011. Gale Document Number: GALE|A247644165. Retrieved Nov 22, 2011. Gale Biography In Context.
- "Sara Paretsky". St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Gale. 1996. Gale Document Number: GALE|K2406000432. Retrieved November 22, 2011. Gale Biography In Context.
- Goldenberg, Suzanne (March 21, 2008). "Interview: Author Sara Paretsky | Life and style". The Guardian. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Sarah Crown, Sara Paretsky interview: ‘I start each VI Warshawski book convinced I can’t do it’, The Guardian, 7 August 2015.
- "Ragdale Alumni: Writers – Fiction – O-Z". Ragdale Foundation website. 2010. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Maslin, Janet (26 July 1991). "V.I. Warshawski". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Martin, Nora (1996). ""In the business of believing women's stories": Feminism through detective fiction (Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton)" (M.A. thesis) Wilfrid Laurier University
- "Clues: A Journal of Detection". Staff.cua.edu. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- Roberts, Lora. "A History of Sisters in Crime". Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. October 2, 2003. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards and History". Bouchercon.info. Retrieved March 5, 2012.