As America's ethnic and racial character undergoes explosive transformation, its crime fictions trace, contest and celebrate the changes. The Contemporary American Crime Novel is an exciting book that offers a comprehensive overview of recent developments in American crime fiction, exploring America's dynamic, fragmented multicultural landscape and how this changing landscape has, in the process, transformed the codes and conventions of the crime novel. Mapping the genre's ideological complexities and unreconcilable tensions, its preference for uncovering, contesting and yet also reinforcing traditional relations of domination and subordination, and its vision of a morally-impaired, conflict-riven society on the verge of disintegration, The Contemporary American Crime Novel considers the emergence of African-American, female, gay, lesbian, Latino- and Asian-American crime writers alongside contemporary developments in white, male hard-boiled crime fiction. While race and ethnicity are the main focus on the book, class, gender, sexuality and region are taken into account as 'complicating factors' in the construction of identity.
Authors featured include James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, Sara Paretsky, Barbara Wilson, Chester Himes, Walter Mosley, Faye Kellerman, Alex Abella and Chang-Rae Lee. Steering an informed course between the dogmas of left-wing political correctness and right-wing jingoism, the book is an engaging and accessible attempt to rescue the American crime novel from its celebrants and detractors and provide a new reading that explores the genre's growing popularity and foregrounds its ambiguities and complexities. The book will provide a lively and provocative introduction to key debates on the study of the genre, the question of multiculturalism and the theorising of race and ethnicity in the United States.