Event—Public Programming

Fuller Award: Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsksy

Sara Paretsksy

Sara Paretsksy

Sara Paretsky’s novels, particularly her V.I. Warshawski series, revolutionized the mystery genre, and paved the way for a good many female writers and characters.

Join us as Sara Paretsky receives the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award for lifetime achievement.

A host of speakers will give short tributes highlighting Sara's myriad accomplishments:

  • Dominick Abel
  • Heather Ash
  • Margaret Kinsman
  • Ann Christophersen
  • Lori Rader Day
  • Neil Harris
  • Donna Seaman
  • Luis Alberto Urrea

Beginning in 1982, when Warshawski made her debut in Indemnity Only, Sara Paretsky has given readers a string of bestselling stories featuring a private investigator working a traditionally male job with all the street smarts, toughness, and compassion of the greatest historical characters. Paretsky also instilled in V.I. fatal flaws that make her believable, empathy that gives us insight into her drive, and a sense of social justice that provides a window into our society’s most pressing concerns.

Though born in Kansas, Sara has made her home in Chicago for a half century, and like V.I. and her cohorts is now a Chicagoan through and through. On Thursday, May 9, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will give Sara its Fuller Award for lifetime achievement. Sara has written 19 novels in the V.I. Warshawski series, including her second, Deadlock, which was the basis of a 1991 film adaptation starring Kathleen Turner in the title role. In addition, Sara’s credits include several volumes of short stories, a memoir, and several stand-alone novels. She has edited four detective story anthologies. Her work is a constant presence on the bestseller list.

Sara also created Sisters in Crime, a worldwide organization to support women crime writers, which earned her Ms. Magazine’s 1987 Woman of the Year award. She has won a large variety of other literary awards and several honorary doctorate degrees.

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame only inducts historical writers into the Hall of Fame, and so the Fuller was created as a way to acknowledge our greatest living Chicago writers. Gene Wolfe (2012), Harry Mark Petrakis (2014), Haki Madhubuti (2015), Rosellen Brown (2016), Angela Jackson (2018), and Stuart Dybek (2018) have received past Fuller Awards.

The Newberry Library holds The Sara Paretsky Papers, 1966-93. Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute.

This event is cosponsored with the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and the Newberry's program in Chicago Studies.

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.