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Sara Paretsky

  • Rule number something or other — never tell anybody anything unless you're going to get something better in return.

  • Live disasters are wonderful attractions when you're safe on the other side of them.

  • The decimation of Lebanon was showing up in Chicago as a series of restaurants and little shops, just as the destruction of Vietnam had been visible here a decade earlier. If you never read the news but ate out a lot you should be able to tell who was getting beaten up around the world.

  • All food starting with p is comfort food, I thought: pasta, potato chips, pretzels, peanut butter, pastrami, pizza, pastry ...

  • Remember: The only real social sin is to care what other people think of you.

  • ... she's a damned passive woman who runs her guilt-filled bus over the nearest passerby.

  • In front of the clinic, holding the bullhorn, was a thin hyperthyroid man. ... His supporters included a number of college-age young men, all fervently committed to carrying their own pregnancies to term, and a variety of middle-aged women, whose faces seemed to say: My life was made miserable by maternity, and so should everyone else's be.

  • ... I believe in the dull lie — make your story boring enough and no one will question it.

  • Heart surgeons do not have the world's smallest egos: when you ask them to name the world's three leading practitioners, they never can remember the names of the other two.

    • Sara Paretsky,
    • "The Case of the Pietro Andromache," in Marilyn Wallace, ed., Sisters in Crime ()
  • If you're born lucky, you don't have to be good.

  • Sometimes life seems so painful it hurts even to move my arms.

  • When you feel really lousy, puppy therapy is indicated.

  • Never underestimate a man's ability to underestimate a woman.

  • Something there is that doesn't love a fence.

  • The rich are different than you and me: they have more money and they have more power.

  • Every writer's difficult journey is a movement from silence to speech. We must be intensely private and interior in order to find a voice and a vision — and we must bring our work to an outside world where the market, or public outrage, or even government censorship can destroy our voice.

Sara Paretsky, U.S. writer

(1947)