BEST LOCAL GIRL WHO WRITES NONFICTION - 2007
Judith L. Pearson
Virginia Hill was an American do-gooder who came from wealth and lost a leg during a hunting accident an unlikely combination for someone who would go on to become one of World War II's most decorated spies. Tempe-based Pearson relates Hill's fantastical tale in The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy (Lyons Press, 2005). The author's strength is research, and her clean, uncluttered writing allows the story to tell itself. The same attributes are evident in her first book, Belly of the Beast: A POW's Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage and Survival Aboard the Infamous WWII Japanese Hell Ship Oryoku Maru (Penguin Books, 2001), as well as Pearson's "travel series" a collection of writings detailing various adventures in the Southwest and beyond.