Boston Noir 2: The Classics
Dennis Lehane returns to coedit, with Cotton & Clarke, the sequel to the best-selling evergreen anthology Boston Noir, culling classic stories from the city’s dark literary legacy.

“The contributor list is delightfully quirky . . . The collection’s unifying element is a deep understanding of Boston’s Byzantine worlds of race and class–as seen terrifyingly in Andre Dubus’s tale of milltown resentment and pampered preppies.” —Boston Globe

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring stories by: Linda Barnes, Jason Brown, Andre Dubus, Chuck Hogan, George Harrar, George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert B. Parker, David Ryan, Kenneth Abel, Barbara Neely, Hannah Tinti, and David Foster Wallace.

"1110945314"
Boston Noir 2: The Classics
Dennis Lehane returns to coedit, with Cotton & Clarke, the sequel to the best-selling evergreen anthology Boston Noir, culling classic stories from the city’s dark literary legacy.

“The contributor list is delightfully quirky . . . The collection’s unifying element is a deep understanding of Boston’s Byzantine worlds of race and class–as seen terrifyingly in Andre Dubus’s tale of milltown resentment and pampered preppies.” —Boston Globe

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring stories by: Linda Barnes, Jason Brown, Andre Dubus, Chuck Hogan, George Harrar, George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert B. Parker, David Ryan, Kenneth Abel, Barbara Neely, Hannah Tinti, and David Foster Wallace.

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Boston Noir 2: The Classics

Boston Noir 2: The Classics

by Dennis Lehane
Boston Noir 2: The Classics

Boston Noir 2: The Classics

by Dennis Lehane

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Overview

Dennis Lehane returns to coedit, with Cotton & Clarke, the sequel to the best-selling evergreen anthology Boston Noir, culling classic stories from the city’s dark literary legacy.

“The contributor list is delightfully quirky . . . The collection’s unifying element is a deep understanding of Boston’s Byzantine worlds of race and class–as seen terrifyingly in Andre Dubus’s tale of milltown resentment and pampered preppies.” —Boston Globe

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring stories by: Linda Barnes, Jason Brown, Andre Dubus, Chuck Hogan, George Harrar, George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert B. Parker, David Ryan, Kenneth Abel, Barbara Neely, Hannah Tinti, and David Foster Wallace.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617751363
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Series: Akashic Noir Series
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 1,085,092
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

About The Author
DENNIS LEHANE is the author of the Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro mystery series (A Drink before the War; Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; and Moonlight Mile), as well as Coronado (five stories and a play) and the award-winning novels Mystic River, Shutter Island, and The Given Day. Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone have been made into award-winning films. He is the editor of Boston Noir and coeditor of Boston Noir 2: The Classics.

Hometown:

Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

August 4, 1965

Place of Birth:

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Education:

B.A., Eckerd College, 1988; M.F.A., Florida International University, 1993

Read an Excerpt

Boston Noir 2

The Classics

Akashic Books

Copyright © 2012 Akashic Books
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-61775-136-3


Introduction

They Look Like You and Me

There's a mysterious phenomenon particular to Boston involving the network of underground and aboveground trains that form the spiderweb of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, known colloquially as the T. The city's subway employs a directional concept known as Inbound and Outbound, which confounds and baffles tourists and transient college students alike, since it's not readily evident what exactly Inbound and Outbound are in relation to. Any number of theories persist: toward the Atlantic Ocean means Inbound, away means Outbound; toward the gold- capped State House in Beacon Hill designates Inbound, away from it is Outbound, and on and on. All guesses are reduced to just that when the Inbound train you're riding on suddenly and inexplicably transforms into an Outbound train by passing through some magical plane of existence.

What is noir and what is not inhabits a similarly gray area. Its definition is continually expanding from the previous generation's agreed-upon notion that noir involves men in fedoras smoking cigarettes on street corners. Noir alludes to crime, sure, but it also evokes bleak elements, danger, tragedy, sleaze, all of which is best represented by its root French definition: black. We used this idea as our guide for this sequel to the best-selling Boston Noir anthology, which was originally published in 2009. Whereas Boston Noir comprised brand-new pieces commissioned for the anthology, our charge here was to scour the body of Boston literature for previously published short stories and novel excerpts that best illuminate the dark corners of the Hub.

While the tales told within take place in the Boston metro area and its exburbs, the first story we agreed should be included unfolds north of the city, Andre Dubus's "Townies." One of the modern short story masters, Dubus's work is filled with grim circumstances and ersatz characters. His fiction could fill an entire volume of noir, and the unforgettable protagonist of "Townies" and his irrevocable act are as haunting as any ghost story.

Our search deep into the archives of Boston fiction turned up a priceless find: Robert B. Parker's short story "Surrogate," which features an early appearance of Spenser, his famous detective. It's rumored that "Surrogate" was commissioned by Playboy but never published there, appearing only in a limited-edition volume, then later in an anthology published in England. You're among the first to read it in a very long time.

We uncovered other gems as well: "The Marriage Privilege" by Chuck Hogan, which was previously published in the Boston College alumni magazine; and Linda Barnes's short story "Lucky Penny," which won a 1985 Anthony Award and also marked the first appearance of the towering cop-turned–private detective Carlotta Carlyle, who would star in ten of Barnes's hard-boiled detective novels; and Joyce Carol Oates writing occult fiction. You read that right.

The vast treasure trove of George V. Higgins's work made for long stretches of interesting and entertaining reading and when the arguing was over, "The Balance of the Day" became our favorite, second only to our desire to reprint Higgins's entire novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

Barbara Neely's four novels featuring Blanche White, a sharp-tongued, middle-aged black cleaning woman, are sadly out of print. The excerpt from Blanche Cleans Up anthologized here features an amateur private detective in the unique position to investigate the death of a young black man from the inside of the Boston Brahmin politician's house she's currently cleaning.

Kenneth Abel's novel Bait, also unfairly out of print, shows us a gritty Boston populated by fascinating characters: brilliant (and not so brilliant) mob bosses and thugs, recovering alcoholic cops and the women who love them, and government officials trying desperately to look like they know what they're doing.

The late David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest is set partly in Enfield, a fictional Brighton. (Wallace lived for a time in Boston.) The novel is full of comedy, but is also filled with blackness, and the excerpt we've chosen is singular in its depravity.

Knowing that Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, the witch-burning capital of the country, won't prepare you for the grand noir soap opera she unfurls in her story "Home Sweet Home."

In the gradations of noir, the stories by Jason Brown, George Harrar, and David Ryan are perhaps on the subtle end, but they fall in the final act of this volume because they are deeply unsettling. That's fair warning.

For those of us lucky enough to call Boston home, the commonwealth is an endless source of fascinating landscapes: the autumnal light spreading across the Charles River; the ice floes in the wintry Boston Harbor; a spring air tantalizing leaves in Harvard Yard; the salty taste of summer as sunbathers peer into the horizon, shielding their eyes from the glare, squinting into the middle distance. Beyond the postcard fabric, though, lies a community populated by broken families, criminal minds, voyeurs, and outsiders. They look like you and me. These are their stories.

Jaime Clarke, Mary Cotton & Dennis Lehane Boston, MA September 2012

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Boston Noir 2 Copyright © 2012 by Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: Broken Families

“The Marriage Privilege” by Chuck Hogan (West Roxbury)

“Night-Side” by Joyce Carol Oates (Quincy)

“Home Sweet Home” by Hannah Tinti (Route 128)

“Surrogate” by Robert B. Parker (Watertown)

Part II: Criminal Minds

“Mushrooms” by Dennis Lehane (Dorchester)

“Lucky Penny” by Linda Barnes (Beacon Hill)

“Blanche Cleans Up” (excerpt) by Barbara Neely (Brookline)

“The Balance of the Day” by George V. Higgins (Roxbury)

“Bait” (excerpt) by Kenneth Abel (South Boston)

Part III: Voyeurs & Outsiders

“Townies” by Andre Dubus (Merrimack River)

“Driving the Heart” by Jason Brown (Boston General Hospital)

“The 5:22” by George Harrar (Kendall Square)

Infinite Jest (excerpt) by David Foster Wallace (Brighton)

“At Night” by David Ryan (Back Bay)

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