The Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction

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From the execution sermons of the Colonial era to television programs like The Wire and The Sopranos, crime writing has played an important role in American culture. Its ability to register fear, desire and anxiety has made it a popular genre with a wide audience. These new essays, written for students as well as readers of crime fiction, demonstrate the very best in contemporary scholarship and challenge long-established notions of the development of the detective novel. Each chapter covers a sub-genre, from 'true crime' to hard-boiled novels, illustrating the ways in which 'popular' and 'high' literary genres influence and shape each other. With a chronology and guide to further reading, the Companion is a helpful guide for students of American literature and readers of crime fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fourteen essays by academics include some valuable history and analysis..."
-John L. Breen

..."the Companion succeeds in presenting the richness and diversity of works that form the genre, and the many ways in which crime fiction remains enormously relevant to the popular cultures of today."
-Tarik Abdel-Monem,University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Catherine Ross Nickerson is Associate Professor of American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of The Web of Iniquity: Early Women Writers of Detective Fiction (1998) and she has edited two volumes of reprinted novels from early detective fiction: Anna Katharine Green, Lost Man's Lane and that Affair Next Door and Metta Victor, The Dead Letter and the Figure Eight (both 2003). She has also received the 2011 George N. Dove Award for Contributions to the Study of Crime Fiction.

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors

American crime fiction: a chronology

1 Introduction: The satisfactions of murder 1

2 Early American Crime Writing Catherine Ross Nickerson Nickerson, Catherine Ross 5

3 Poe And The Origins Of Detective Fiction Sara Crosby Crosby, Sara 17

4 Women Writers Before 1960 Stephen Rachman Rachman, Stephen 29

5 The Hard-Boiled Novel Catherine Ross Nickerson Nickerson, Catherine Ross 42

6 The American Roman Noir Sean Mccann Mccann, Sean 58

7 Teenage Detectives And Teenage Delinquents Andrew Pepper Pepper, Andrew 72

8 American Spy Fiction Ilana Nash Nash, Ilana 86

9 The Police Procedural In Literature And On Television David Seed Seed, David 96

10 Mafia Stories And The American Gangster Eddy Von Mueller Von Mueller, Eddy 110

11 True Crime Fred L. Gardaphe Gardaphe, Fred L. 121

12 Race And American Crime Fiction Laura Browder Browder, Laura 135

13 Feminist Crime Fiction Maureen T. Reddy Reddy, Maureen T. 148

14 Crime In Postmodernist Fiction Margaret Kinsman Kinsman, Margaret 163

Guide to reading Susan Elizabeth Sweeney Sweeney, Susan Elizabeth 178

Index Susan Elizabeth Sweeney Sweeney, Susan Elizabeth 183

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