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Alice Sebold has written two novels with gripping and, for some, controversial first paragraphs.

'My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.' Sebold, Alice, 2002, The Lovely bones, p.5

'When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.' Sebold, Alice, 2007 Lucky, p.3

Born in Madison, Wisconsin she grew up in Philadelphia and attended Syracuse University. Her life was completely transformed, when as an eighteen-year-old she was brutally beaten and raped in a tunnel near her college campus. Her recovery has been chronicled in her memoir Lucky.  WhenThe Lovely Bones was published it became a bestseller, some even comparing its succesful debut to Gone with the Wind.