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Sarah Paretsky Biography

(1947– ), Indemnity Only, Deadlock, Killing Orders, Bitter Medicine, Blood Shot, Toxic Shock, Burn Marks, Guardian Angel

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cynthia Ozick Biography to Ellis Peters Biography

American crime novelist, born in Ames, Iowa, educated at the universities of Kansas and Chicago. Paretsky's private eye novels, featuring the plausible character of V. I. Warshawski, represent the impact of feminist thinking on a traditionally male form. With Barbara Wilson, Amanda Cross, and others, Paretsky uses the crime novel to investigate the role of women in American society and to uncover its widespread injustices. Following Ross MacDonald, she emphasizes the investigative and revelatory side of private eye writing, and her novels offer a powerful critique of the politics and civic practices of her setting, Chicago. Her first novel, Indemnity Only (1982), offered an analysis of corruption in the labour unions. Deadlock (1984) showed the squalid practices of corporate business structures. Novels such as Killing Orders (1985), Bitter Medicine (1987), Blood Shot (also known as Toxic Shock) (1988), Burn Marks (1990), Guardian Angel (1992), and Tunnel Vision (1994) construct a detailed human context for the analysis of issues through the dilemmas and struggles of the fallible central figures.

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