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Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction
     

Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction

by Lee Horsley
 

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ISBN-10: 0199253269

ISBN-13: 9780199253265

Pub. Date: 11/03/2005

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction aims to enhance understanding of one of the most popular forms of genre fiction by examining a wide variety of the detective and crime fiction produced in Britain and America during the twentieth century. It will be of interest to anyone who enjoys reading crime fiction but is specifically designed with the needs of students in mind.

Overview

Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction aims to enhance understanding of one of the most popular forms of genre fiction by examining a wide variety of the detective and crime fiction produced in Britain and America during the twentieth century. It will be of interest to anyone who enjoys reading crime fiction but is specifically designed with the needs of students in mind. It introduces different theoretical approaches to crime fiction (e.g., formalist, historicist, psychoanalytic, postcolonial, feminist) and will be a useful supplement to a range of crime fiction courses, whether they focus on historical contexts, ideological shifts, the emergence of sub-genres, or the application of critical theories. Forty-seven widely available stories and novels are chosen for detailed discussion.

In seeking to illuminate the relationship between different phases of generic development Lee Horsley employs an overlapping historical framework, with sections doubling back chronologically in order to explore the extent to which successive transformations have their roots within the earlier phases of crime writing, as well as responding in complex ways to the preoccupations and anxieties of their own eras. The first part of the study considers the nature and evolution of the main sub-genres of crime fiction: the classic and hard-boiled strands of detective fiction, the non-investigative crime novel (centered on transgressors or victims), and the "mixed" form of the police procedural.

The second half of the study examines the ways in which writers have used crime fiction as a vehicle for socio-political critique. These chapters consider the evolution of committed, oppositional strategies, tracing the development of politicized detective and crime fiction, from Depression-era protests against economic injustice to more recent decades which have seen writers launching protests against ecological crimes, rampant consumerism, Reaganomics, racism, and sexism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199253265
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/03/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1. Classic Detective Fiction
The turn of the century: Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries
Classic detection in the interwar years
Transforming the tradition in the 1950s and 1960s
2. Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction
The Black Mask boys
The mid-century paperback revolution
Contemporary investigations
3. Transgression and Pathology
The Prohibition-era gangsters
The killers inside us
Serial killers, pathologists, and police procedurals
4. Crime Fiction as Socio-Political Critique
Despairing of the Depression
Despoiling Florida
The politics of self-enrichment
5. Black Appropriations
'A Harlem of my mind'
Writing the other Los Angeles
Diasporic identities in contemporary Britain
Detectives, mammies, bitches, and whores
6. Regendering the Genre
Mothering feminist crime fiction in the 1970s
Butch vs. femme in the Reganite '80s
Unsolved crimes of the '90s
Into the twenty-first century
1. Classic Detective Fiction
The turn of the century: Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries
Classic detection in the interwar years
Transforming the tradition in the 1950s and 1960s
2. Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction
The Black Mask boys
The mid-century paperback revolution
Contemporary investigations
3. Transgression and Pathology
The Prohibition-era gangsters
The killers inside us
Serial killers, pathologists, and police procedurals
4. Crime Fiction as Socio-Political Critique
Despairing of the Depression
Despoiling Florida
The politics of self-enrichment
5. Black Appropriations
'A Harlem of my mind'
Writing the other Los Angeles
Diasporic identities in contemporary Britain
Detectives, mammies, bitches, and whores
6. Regendering the Genre
Mothering feminist crime fiction in the 1970s
Butch vs. femme in the Reganite '80s
Unsolved crimes of the '90s
Into the twenty-first century

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