Twentieth-century Crime Fiction

Paperback | September 29, 2005

byLee Horsley

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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 crimefiction 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 onhistorical 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 earlierphases 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, thenon-investigative crime novel (centred 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-eraprotests against economic injustice to more recent decades which have seen writers launching protests against ecological crimes, rampant consumerism, Reaganomics, racism, and sexism.

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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 crimefiction but is specifically designed with t...

Lee Horsley came to England in 1965 as a Fulbright Scholar and has lived here ever since. She did her postgraduate work at the University of Reading and the University of Birmingham, and had a research post at Wadham College, Oxford, 1971-73. She has been a lecturer at the University of Lancaster since 1974 - currently teaching twenti...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.73 inPublished:September 29, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199253269

ISBN - 13:9780199253265

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Table of Contents

1. Classic Detective FictionThe turn of the century: Sherlock Holmes and his contemporariesClassic detection in the interwar yearsTransforming the tradition in the 1950s and 1960s2. Hard-Boiled Detective FictionThe iBlack Mask/i boysThe mid-century paperback revolutionContemporary investigations3. Transgression and PathologyThe Prohibition-era gangstersThe killers inside usSerial killers, pathologists, and police procedurals4. Crime Fiction as Socio-Political CritiqueDespairing of the DepressionDespoiling FloridaThe politics of self-enrichment5. Black Appropriations'A Harlem of my mind'Writing the other Los AngelesDiasporic identities in contemporary BritainDetectives, mammies, bitches, and whores6. Regendering the GenreMothering feminist crime fiction in the 1970sButch vs. femme in the Reganite '80sUnsolved crimes of the '90sInto the twenty-first century