Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sara Paretsky: By the Book

SEPT. 11, 2014
From The New York Times
The author of the V. I. Warshawski novels, most recently “Critical Mass,” was hugely influenced by “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”: “I felt as though I’d fallen into words and wanted to drown in them.”
What books are currently on your night stand?
I’m trying hard to read Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” but keep returning to fiction. Right now: John Williams’s “Stoner,” Claude Izner’s “Strangled in Paris.”
Who is your favorite novelist of all time? And your favorite novelist writing today? 
I don’t have an all-time favorite. There are books I reread or wish I’d written. I love the Victorians: Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, in that order. I loved “Gilead” and “Wolf Hall,” which is a staggering achievement. I reread Barbara Pym and Jane Austen and my old detective favorites when I’m stressed out.
Who are your favorite writers of detective fiction?
Margery Allingham among the classics. Peter Dickinson, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Dorothy Hughes.
Which do you consider the best detective stories of all time, and why?
Anna Katharine Green, for defining the consulting detective for the 19th century; Wilkie Collins, for playing with the form and transforming it; Dashiell Hammett, for reinventing the form for the 20th century; the Holmes oeuvre, for making detective fiction popular in both Great Britain and America; Amanda Cross and Lillian O’Donnell, for opening the door that enabled Marcia Muller, Linda Barnes, Sue Grafton and me to challenge the form in new ways.
What makes a good detective novel?
Believable characters first, a good story, an understanding of how to pace dramatic action. I like commitment by a writer, to the form, to the story — there are lots of slick writers of crime fiction who aren’t writing out of passion, but for the market. They write good English sentences, but for me, the lack of commitment makes them uninteresting.
for the rest go here:

1 comment:

RJR said...

Sara Paretsky is a great writer and an even GREATER lady.