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Author

: Grafton, Sue

Genre

: Short Stories

UPC

: GRS00014

ISBN

: 9780399163838

Publisher

: Putnam

Total Pages

: 283

Kinsey and Me: Stories (Kinsey Millhone)

In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established icon and Sue internationally bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey's origins and creator's past.

The nine stories that open the book are each gems of detection. So much has happened in the decades since Kinsey made her debut that it's easy to forget she was part of a seismic shift in the private-eye novel, as women ceased to be loyal sidekicks and came into their own, with strong voices and decidedly strong opinions. The same feisty voice, rapier wit, and irrelevant observations readers fell in love with in A is for Alibi permeate these stories, proving just how fully formed Kinsey was from the beginning.

The thirteen stories that form the second part of the book were written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. These stories feature Kit Blue, a younger version of Sue herself. They are dark with their undercurrent of sadness and muted pain. Grafton's family was troubled, as so many families are, but her wise and sensitive telling traces a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding to forgiveness, and finally, to the realization of a profound love. The emotional impact is enormous.

Sue has in the past briefly mentioned the alcoholism of both her parents, which seems to have begun around the time her father returned from the war. Some things were never discovered about our parents, and Sue does not know what led to this dependency. But with it came a childhood lacking in supervision. She was free to read everything and roam everywhere, to let her imagination take her as far as she could go. But the dark side of such limitless freedom was emotional turmoil.

Sue is a very private person and has never before opened this up to public view. That she does so now speaks to her having come to terms with the past. Still, as she writes 'we live in a confessional age, but I don't want to be perceived as plundering my own sorry story for fun and profit. At the remove of some fifty years, I still find myself reluctant to lift the veil on a period of my life that was chaotic and confused.

'I wish life could be edited as deftly as prose. It would be nice to go back and write a better story, correcting weakness and follies in the light of what I now know. What I've noticed, though, is that any attempt to trim out the dark matter takes away some of the good that was also buried in the muck. The past is a package deal and I don't believe there's a way to tell some of the truth without telling most. Wisdom comes at a price, and I have paid dearly for mine'

Thoughts those of us who have dared to look into the past must surely share.

Wise woman. Wise Writer. 


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