Since my group focused on Sara Paretsky’s Indemnity Only, we had difficulty finding a lot of information and responses from the time period given as it was most recent, even with Peter’s help. I did, however, learn a little more about how to use search engines and which engines to use specifically with the help of the resource desk in the library. My group didn’t convene until a little later in the process and, up until then, we had all been continuously contributing which is why the information seemed a little choppy and disjointed. After meeting up, we came to a common understanding on who was to work on what, who wasn’t working, and what needed to be done. During this time, we also went back through some of our prior research and edited it up to make sure it had more of a common theme coming from the same voice.
Although we’d all contributed to the plot, I was the one to go back and revise it to hopefully add some more specifics as well as try to make it sound more fluid. Again, this was after meeting with the group. Before that, I was having difficulty finding things on my own, so I went to the resource desk at the library and emailed Peter. There wasn’t a lot of actual tangible text that would be of use, but Peter did point me in the right direction on how to properly use the school’s data bases. Doing so, I found articles on several of her books in relation to similar authors of the time period, all discussing breaking the atypical feminine mold in detective literature before their novels. It was greatly emphasized, especially in Dial Femme for Murder by Frickle (http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=89e7181f-8c41-4b36-b669-a6d078a0dfab%40sessionmgr111&vid=4&hid=125 published Spring 2011 and accessed November 27, 2012) that before these novels, the female character in hardboiled fiction was typically the sexual object or the femme fatale who turned into the villain. Also in The Progressive Interview of Sara Paretsky by Rothschils (http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=89e7181f-8c41-4b36-b669-a6d078a0dfab%40sessionmgr111&vid=4&hid=125 published March 2008, accessed November 27, 2012), she talks about developing her characters to have a realistic and cynical outlook on the world and their circumstances, as well as to have their smarts about them. They break into roles that were designed for men of that time period, and often times do a better job than they do. Paretsky even dated back to Adam and Eve, pointing out Adam’s blame of Eve for the eating of the forbidden fruit. She comes of as a strong feminist who is determined to infiltrate this idea of women being inferior in any of sort of way to men.
This seemed to be a very common them not only in Indemnity Only, but also in Paretsky’s other books. This could also be confused with writing styles since it seems to be common in her novels, but the realistic feminist characters are hard to deny. Another thing that was brought up in the articles that the book verified was the throwing over of typical patriarchies, especially since it’s a feminine PI (who is in a few professional roles, also new for the time period) bringing down several men. The issue of white collar crime is more specific to the Warshawski books, which somewhat introduces the breaking of another mold, that being the condemnation of those who normally get away with crimes. These were more of my contributions, other than rewriting the plot summary, but it’s hard to tell what is to be placed where since a lot of the reading was more or less the same. As I said, it was hard to find a lot of information, but especially differentiating articles. I more discovered the feminist plot amongst Indemnity Only and following with her other novels.
The other people in the group noticed this also, but they discovered a more prominent connection with labor unions than I found. It was hard to find much other than the break of feminism in many resources since that seemed to be the main impact of the book, especially for the time period it was written in. Overall, I think our book was a little more challenging than the others, but I enjoyed my group and everyone in it which helped the experience. It was difficult to find all the necessary information, but I’m interested to see how it’s going to transpose on Wikipedia once our research is completed. `