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Crime writer Patricia Cornwell reveals frustration at using politically-correct words while writing

‘Everybody’s so worried about offending everybody’: Crime writer Patricia Cornwell reveals frustration at trying to figure out politically-correct alternatives to words forbidden by woke ‘progressives’

  • Patricia Cornwell, 65, says she has to find politically correct words in her books
  • Cornwell revealed some words are forbidden because of ‘wokeist progressives’
  • ‘Everybody’s so worried about offending everybody,’ she said in an interview
  • She criticised social media for its ‘brutal categories’ that cause ‘endless rage’


American crime writer Patricia Cornwell said she has to find politically correct ways to refer to people in her books because ‘everybody’s so worried about offending everybody’.

The best-selling author revealed she recently spent 45 minutes trying to figure out the least offensive way to refer to people who fish for a living and also criticised social media for making people ‘divisive’. 

In an interview with the Sunday Times, she discussed how she was abandoned by her father and psychotic mother, before focusing on the political pressures currently facing writers.

Cornwell, 65, told the newspaper some words have been forbidden because of wokeist ‘progressives’.

Best-selling author Patricia Cornwell, 65, revealed she recently spent 45 minutes trying to figure out the least offensive way to refer to people who fish before settling on ‘fisherfolks’

She added: ‘I deal with this all the time, like you can’t say a vehicle is “manned”. It has to be “crewed”.

‘I spent about 45 minutes yesterday trying to figure out the politically correct way to refer to people who fish for a living. Can’t call them ‘”fishermen”. So I called them fisherfolks.

‘Everybody’s so worried about offending everybody. I mean, when are they going to say you can’t call them black holes any more? What will it be? A non-white hole?’

Cornwell also criticised social media for its ‘brutal categories’ that cause ‘endless rage’.

She added: ‘Instead of pulling everybody together it’s divisive.

‘They keep saying we are different. We’re treated different because I’m a woman, or I’m gay or I’m black or I’m white, or I’m Hispanic or trans or whatever it might be. And that is a real shame.

‘This has got to change, or the planet won’t survive.’

Cornwell described how her father walked out of the family home on Christmas Day when she was just five years old.

Her mother, Marilyn, became fixated with evangelist Billy Graham and even decided to move her three children from Florida to be close to the Graham family in North Carolina.

One day, she burnt her childrens’ clothes and took them to the Graham house and handed Billy’s wife Ruth a note saying ‘please raise my children’.

The Grahams cared for the children for a short while before they were fostered.

Cornwell said that one of her foster parents was an ‘abusive bully’ and led her to become anorexic and depressive as a teenager.  

Cornwell added: ‘I’ve had a bizarre life.

‘And I didn’t ask for it and probably don’t deserve it. It’s been like a fairytale and sometimes a very bad fairytale. But you can’t have good fairytales without bad fairytales.

‘The things that were awful when you were going through them are the things that some day are your treasures.’ 

Patricia Cornwell also criticised social media for its 'brutal categories' that cause 'endless rage'. She said: 'Instead of pulling everybody together, it's divisive.'

Patricia Cornwell also criticised social media for its ‘brutal categories’ that cause ‘endless rage’. She said: ‘Instead of pulling everybody together, it’s divisive.’

Cornwell has just realised her 25th book focused on her iconic character, forensic scientist Kay Scarpetta, who she first introduced in 1990

Cornwell has just realised her 25th book focused on her iconic character, forensic scientist Kay Scarpetta, who she first introduced in 1990

Cornwell was married from 1980 to 1989 to Charles Cornwell but is now married to Dr Staci Gruber, who she met in 2004.

A prominent donor to the Republicans, she has a helicopter and a 2012 Ferrari FF, but admits her Harley-Davidsons are gone and she no longer keeps guns at home. 

She added: ‘I don’t need them where I live… But don’t show up uninvited just because I said I don’t own a gun right now!’

Cornwell is credited with revolutionising the crime genre with the introduction of her iconic character, forensic scientist Kay Scarpetta in 1990 – who has been the protagonist in 25 of her novels.

  • Autopsy, the new Kay Scarpetta thriller, is published by HarperCollins, out on November 25 at £25. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk