Sara Paretsky Profile and Books

Sara Paretsky was born in 1947 in Iowa and was raised in Kansas. She had a difficult childhood. It was a time when Jewish families were still fighting for acceptance. Her parents constantly argued making home life unpleasant. She was also the middle of 5 children and the only girl. Unlike her brothers, she was discouraged from seeking education beyond high school.

Eventually Paretsky escaped to Chicago where she worked on breaking down her own barriers and helping others do the same.

Her main character – V.I. Warshawski, was one of the early fictional female detectives and has set the stage for many more from other authors. Much of Warshawski’s life is based on Paretsky’s.

She is married to retired physics professor Courtenay Wright, and has helped raise his three sons. She still enjoys living in Chicago.


Works by Paretsky:


V.I Warshawski:


  • Ghost Country (1998) – non-Warshawski novel
  • Bleeding Kansas (2008) – non-Warshawski novel

Short story collections

  • Windy City Blues (1995)
  • A Taste of Life and Other Stories. (1995)


  • Case Studies in Alternative Education. (1975)
  • Writing in an Age of Silence (2007)



Filed under Author Profiles, Paretsky, Sara

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