African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study

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This ambitious study examines the works of modern African American mystery writers within the social and historical contexts of African American literature on crime and justice. It begins with a historical overview that describes the movement by African American authors from slave narratives and antebellum newspapers into fiction writing, the work of early genre writers, such as Pauline Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher, the protest writers of the 1940s and 1950s, and the authors who followed in the 1960s. The ...

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About the Book The book describes the movement by African American authors from slave narratives and antebellum newspapers into fiction writing, and the subsequent developments ... of black genre fiction through the present. It analyzes works by modern African American mystery writers, focusing on sleuths, the social locations of crime, victims and offenders, the notion of "doing justice," and the role of African American cultural vernacular in mystery fiction. A final section focuses on readers and reading, examining African American mystery writers’ access to the marketplace and the issue of the "double audience" raised by earlier writers. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This ambitious study examines the works of modern African American mystery writers within the social and historical contexts of African American literature on crime and justice. It begins with a historical overview that describes the movement by African American authors from slave narratives and antebellum newspapers into fiction writing, the work of early genre writers, such as Pauline Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher, the protest writers of the 1940s and 1950s, and the authors who followed in the 1960s. The historical section concludes with a discussion of works by late twentieth-century writers such as Toni Morrison and Ernest Gaines and the expansion of the audience for works by African American writers.

The heart of the book is an analysis of works by modern African American mystery writers, focusing on sleuths, the social locations of crime, victims and offenders, the notion of "doing justice," and the role of African American cultural vernacular in mystery fiction. A final section focuses on readers and reading, examining African American mystery writers access to the marketplace and the issue of the "double audience" raised by earlier writers. It includes the results of an online survey of mystery readers and presents interviews with a cross-section of African American mystery writers and academic scholars.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786433391
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/12/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is an associate professor in the University at Albany's School of Criminal Justice. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and currently serves as the secretary and a director-at-large of the Board of Directors. She is also a member of Sisters in Crime and of Romance Writers of America.

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Table of Contents


Pt. I Early Black Writers as Crime Reporters 5 Ch. 1 Naming the Crime 7 Ch. 2 Early Genre Writers 24 Ch. 3 From Himes to Hip Hop 56 Pt. II Modern African American Mystery Writers 73 Ch. 4 The Sleuths and Their Worlds 75 Ch. 5 Place, Crime, and Community 106 Ch. 6 Victims and Offenders 123 Ch. 7 Doing Justice 144 Pt. III Readers, Writers, and Scholars 161 Ch. 8 Readers and Reading 163 Ch. 9 Writers and Scholars Speak 179 Concluding Thoughts: Worldviews in Context 202 App. A Biographical Information 207 App. B Books of Post-1987 Authors in the Sample 210 App. C Nominations and Awards 212 App. D Checklist of Mystery/Detective Fiction, Film and Television 214 App. E Index to Topics in the Books in the Sample 223 App. F Readers Survey 235 Notes 241 Bibliography 249 Index 267
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