Wikipedia tells me it’s Sara Paretsky‘s birthday today. I thought I’d blow the dust off my blog and wish her all the best. I am happy she writes a strong woman protagonist with heart and soul and a social conscience. I love the themes that animate her stories and the brio with which she tackles the issues.
It’s also the 25th anniversary of the founding of Sisters in Crime. Well, not today exactly, but this year, and we’ll be celebrating at Bouchercon and at various chapter meetings throughout the year. One of the things I want to do in September, in the run-up to Bouchercon in St. Louis, is encourage bloggers to write about their favorite women crime fiction authors or their favorite mysteries by women. So book bloggers – you’re on notice.
Meanwhile, if you’re curious about the founding of Sisters in Crime, you can get primary sources from the Rutgers University Archives (which holds the organization’s papers) or from the Newberry Library in Chicago, which has Paretsky’s papers in their manuscript collection. Both places were incredibly helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the Popular Culture Association annual meeting about the first quarter century of the organization, which you can find here if you are curious.
As I prepare to blog about my favorite women writers, which (off the top of my head) include Denise Mina, Karin Fossum, Reggie Nadelson, Kate Atkinson, Val McDermid (her standalones, particularly), Carol O’Connell, Kris Nelscott, Minette Walters, Alex Carr …. not to mention the writers who I started with many years ago – Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, and Ngaio Marsh – and the women who transformed the genre: Liza Cody, Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton, and Sara herself – I wonder who I am missing? Who should I be reading before we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sisters in Crime this September?
photo of the author courtesy of Fairfax County Public Library; I took the other one myself while waiting for a train at the Ashland station of the Green Line El.