March 20, 2001 Author Sara Paretsky to Discuss Her Writing at the Library of Congress on April 3

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Kathy Woodrell (202) 707-0945

Writer Sara Paretsky, creator of the popular V.I. Warshawski private investigator series, will deliver the third Judith Austin Memorial Lecture at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, April 3, at noon in the Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the Library's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The lecture, titled "The Writer's Voice," is free and open to the public. Following the lecture, Ms. Paretsky will participate in a live online chat. Fans around the country may chat with the author from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT by signing onto the Library's Web site at

In addition to a volume of short stories, Sara Paretsky has written nine novels featuring Private Investigator V.I. Warshawski as the savvy, tough, and determined central character. The first of the series, Double Indemnity, was published in 1982, while Ms. Paretsky was working as a marketing manager for an insurance company in Chicago, the city where her working-class heroine resides. Other titles in the series followed steadily until 1994. After a five-year hiatus, during which Ms. Paretsky wrote Ghost Country, she published Hard Time in 1999. Hailed as her best book yet, loyal readers heralded the return of V.I. Warshawski.

Born in Iowa and raised in Kansas, Sara Paretsky moved to Chicago in the 1960s to organize for social change. Ms. Paretsky's interest in social justice helped develop her powerful voice on behalf of the disenfranchised, which resounds from the pages of her novels. A tireless reader of the mystery genre, she created V.I. Warshawski to respond to the dearth of worthy female characters in mysteries - most of whom had insignificant or unflattering roles. In 1986 Ms. Paretsky helped found "Sisters in Crime" to aid women in finding their voice as writers, and served as the first president of the organization, which now numbers more than 3,000 members.

The lecture series was established by the Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Division as a tribute to Judith Austin and her many years of service to the Library of Congress.


PR 01-038
ISSN 0731-3527