This week, writers Joanne Leedom-Ackerman and Sara Paretsky discuss their craft, the writing process, and the dangers of censorship and book bans. This conversation originally took place June 15, 2023 and was recorded live at the American Writers Museum.
This episode is presented in conjunction with Banned Books Week. Follow the link to learn more about this initiative from the American Library Association and see how you can take action to preserve open access to literature in your community.
About the speakers:
JOANNE LEEDOM-ACKERMAN is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her works of fiction include Burning Distance and The Far Side of the Desert. She is editor of The Journey of Liu Xiaobo: From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate. A former reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, Joanne is a Vice President Emeritus and former International Secretary of PEN International. She serves on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, the International Center for Journalists, Words Without Borders and Refugees International. She is an emeritus board member of Poets and Writers and Human Rights Watch and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and PEN American Center, where she served as a trustee. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Writers Museum.
SARA PARETSKY revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only. By creating a detective with the grit and smarts to take on the mean streets, Paretsky challenged a genre in which women historically were vamps or victims. V.I. struck a chord with readers and critics; Indemnity Only was followed by twenty more V.I. novels. Paretsky detailed her journey from Kansas farm-girl to New York Times bestseller in her 2007 memoir, Writing in an Age of Silence, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. In addition, Paretsky has written two stand-alone novels, Ghost Country, and Bleeding Kansas, set in the part of rural Kansas where Paretsky grew up. She has published several short story collections, most recently Love & Other Crimes, and has edited numerous other anthologies.