Investigating Identities: Questions of Identity in Contemporary International Crime Fiction is one of the relatively few books to date which adopts a comparative approach to the study of the genre. This collection of twenty essays by international scholars, examining crime fiction production from over a dozen countries, confirms that a comparative approach can both shed light on processes of adaptation and appropriation of the genre within specific national, regional or local contexts, and also uncover similarities between the works of authors from very different areas.
Contributors explore discourse concerning national and historical memory, language, race, ethnicity, culture and gender, and examine how identity is affirmed and challenged in the crime genre today. They reveal a growing tendency towards hybridization and postmodern experimentation, and increasing engagement with philosophical enquiry into the epistemological dimensions of investigation. Throughout, the notion of stable identities is subject to scrutiny.
While each essay in itself is a valuable addition to existing criticism on the genre, all the chapters mutually inform and complement each other in fascinating and often unexpected ways. This volume makes an important contribution to the growing field of crime fiction studies and to ongoing debates on questions of identity. It will therefore be of special interest to students and scholars of the crime genre, identity studies and comparative literature. It will also appeal to all who enjoy reading contemporary crime fiction.
Acknowledgements Marieke KRAJENBRINK and Kate M. QUINN: Introduction: Investigating Identities Eva ERDMANN: Nationality International: Detective Fiction in the Late Twentieth Century Stewart KING: Articulating and Disarticulating Culture and Identity in Vazquez Montalban's Serie Carvalho Anne M. WHITE and Shelley GODSLAND: Popular Genre and the Politics of the Periphery: Catalan Crime Fiction by Women Anne L. WALSH: Questions of Identity: An Exploration of Spanish Detective Fiction Sjef HOUPPERMANS: Abyss of the Senses: Les Rivieres pourpres by Jean-Christophe Grange Agnes MAILLOT: Fractured Identities: Jean-Claude Izzo's Total Kheops Arlene A. TERAOKA: Detecting Ethnicity: Jakob Arjouni and the Case of the Missing German Detective Novel John SCAGGS: Double Identity: Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and the Divided "I" Theo D'HAEN: Plum's the Girl! Janet Evanovich and the Empowerment of Ms Common America Willem G. WESTSTEIJN: Murder and Love: Russian Women Detective Writers Hans ESTER: Perspectives on the Detective Novel in Afrikaans Beate BURTSCHER-BECHTER: Wanted: National Algerian Identity Marisol MORALES LADRON: "Troubling" Thrillers: Politics and Popular Fiction in Northern Ireland Literature Sabine VANACKER: Double Dutch: Image and Identity in Dutch and Flemish Crime Fiction Christopher JONES: Cultural Identity in Swiss German Detective Fiction Marieke KRAJENBRINK: Unresolved Identities in Roth and Rabinovici: Reworking the Crime Genre in Austrian Literature Costantino C. M. MAEDER: Crime Novels in Italy Philip SWANSON: The Detective and the Disappeared: Memory, Forgetting and Other Confusions in Juan Jose Saer's La pesquisa Kate M. QUINN: Cases of Identity Concealed and Revealed in Chilean Detective Fiction Brian DUFFY: From a Good Firm Knot to a Mess of Loose Ends: Identity and Solution in Martin Amis' Night Train Notes on Contributors Index