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“Given my current state of enlightenment, I wouldn’t dream of circulating through the bar scene— barhopping, we called it— but I did in those days. In the sixties and seventies, that’s what you did for recreation. That’s how you met guys. That’s how you got laid. What Women’s Liberation “liberated” was our attitude toward sex. Where we once used sex for barter, now we gave it away. I marvel at the prostitutes we must have put out of business, doling out sexual “favors” in the name of personal freedom. What were we thinking? All we ended up with were bar bums afflicted with pubic vermin.”

Sue Grafton, from “O” is for Outlaw, 1999 Henry Holt and Company, NY.

This is not my opinion, though I don’t completely disagree with it. We all give away things we should have kept, and take things that don’t belong to us or do us any good. I don’t know that any prostitutes have been put out of business by non-professionals; isn’t that a different market? This little ramble is not even the opinion of Sue Grafton, who distances herself from the lives of her characters through application of the Presbyterian principle of predestinationSue Grafton: I try not to create so much as I discover. One of my theories about these books is that they already exist. It's a very Presbyterian point of view. Presbyterians believe (and this is so comforting to writers)... Presbyterians have these weird beliefs about free will and predestination. Now I'm not even sure I believe in this, but it's a workable scheme so let's look at it. The Presbyterians believe that in the mind of God there is no time, which makes sense. In God's mind, it can't be Monday, August 23rd. In God's mind, it's all over, beginning, middle and end, all through the end of time. If that is true, then I have already written these books, right? All I have to do is figure out what I've already said. Which has to be easier than writing, don't you think? So, I consider that my job is to figure out what I already said, and just write it down again..

The opinion belongs to fictional crime solver, Detective Kinsey Millhone, who doesn’t carry a gun in her purse. Now, what’s the point of a purse with no gun in it?


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