Monday, December 20, 2010
Things You Don't Know About Sara Paretsky -- And Her Closest Indie
SinC: Is there anything you'd never leave home without?
SP: My house keys.
SinC: What do you wish you had more time for?
SP: I keep trying to learn French but I don't have time to take classes very often, and I lack the discipline to pursue it on my own.
SinC: Is there anyone from the past you would like to talk to for just 15 minutes?
SP: I'd be tongue-tied around my heroes, whether living or dead, but I'd love to ask Susan B. Anthony how she feels about having the Republican right use her name for one of their women's groups.
SinC: If the F.B.I. had to give you a new identity, what name would you choose?
SP: Boadicea Jones.
SinC: Favorite food?
SP: I love all foods, but I have a special fondness for good bread.
SinC: Favorite drink?
SP: Champagne -- Krug Brut, if I get to choose.
SinC: Favorite dessert?
SinC: If you weren't a published author, what would you be?
SP: Renee Fleming. Or Audrey Hepburn.
SinC: If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?
SP: Oh, I'd be V I. I'd love to be as strong and brave and risk-taking as she is.
SinC: What independent bookstore is closest to the place you spend a good portion of your time?
SP: 57th Street Books.
SinC: What can you tell us about the store?
SP: 57th street is part of the Seminary Co-op, which is a cooperatively-owned store in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. It's about 60 years old. I love 57th Street Books -- I always think I'm going into Christopher Morley's "Haunted Bookshop" when I walk down the four stairs to the half-basement entrance. It is a general bookstore with a real strength in fiction; the Sem Co-op is the heavy-hitting non-fiction partner.
SinC: Where can we find 57th Street Books online?
SinC: What's your most recent indie purchase?
SP: Great House by Nicole Krauss (although I got that at Women & Children First).
SinC: Are there any holiday customs particularly unique to your area or your family?
SP: I'm Jewish and my mother came upon Mouse, who always brought Paretsky children our special present at Chanukah. With time, Mouse expanded his/her (Mouse was always ungendered) repertoire to bring us unexpected gifts during the year. I love having Mouse be part of my nieces' and nephews' lives. My newest grandnephew, Henry, 11 months old, is getting a lovely soft stuffed mouse as his special gift from Mouse. My mother, who was more creative than I, always hand-made a gingerbread Mouse House at Chanukah.
Sara Paretsky is the award-winning author of the 14-book mystery series featuring female detective V.I. Warshawski. The newest title in the series is Body Work. Sara was recently named the recipient of the 2011 Grand Master award by the Mystery Writers of America. She is the founding mother of Sisters in Crime.