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She laughs. The overall tone, however, is anything but heartbroken.

It's smart, swift, and sometimes cynical, and there are little nuggets throughout about the realities of practicing law, as well as the system in Boulder, a town that Winer characterizes as "one of the best places to commit a crime anywhere in the United States, other than maybe Aspen. Winer herself was a public defender in Jefferson County for five years before coming to Boulder. In Jeffco, she says, "Everyone was tough and mean-spirited and not at all sympathetic to stories about your clients, and in every case they wanted to file the habitual criminal.

You show up in Boulder, and they're just nice. It was a mindfuck -- and also such a pleasure. These days, the battered-wife syndrome is well understood, but self-defense was difficult for Stein to argue in the s. She draws on the work of real-life psychologist Lenore Walker, who at that time lived in Denver and first argued that abuse victims suffer a "learned helplessness. The character of Emily, says Winer, "is a composite of those lovely clients who break your heart and whom you want to save.

I did represent a young woman who stabbed her father to death with a pair of scissors. I used self-defense because he had beaten the crap out of her a number of times.

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I insisted on going to trial, and she was acquitted. So Emily's based on some real people, but really she made herself up. She became who she was and took over. I didn't plan for her to have such a big role in the book, but she elbowed her way in and I fell in love in her.

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Winer is now absorbing the impact of being a published writer. Still, she suffers all the usual writerly insecurities.

I made a primitive ashtray with a couple of stumps on the bottom, and this other guy had various colors mixed together on his, all smooth, something you would sell in a souvenir shop in Cozumel. And I just looked at my little ashtray and thought, 'My God. You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter s - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!

Jeanne Winer will read from her new novel at p.

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For more information, call or visit Tattered Cover's site. All rights reserved. Oh, sad face. It was one of my favorites of last year.

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  5. Oh, really? Usually I can at least see what other people like about it. Just differences in personal taste, I guess! Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.


    Being Acquainted With The Night, And Being Acquainted With Death

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    Furthest City Light, The – Paperback – Bella Books

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