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The Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Catherine Ross Nickerson, Sara Crosby, Stephen Rachman, Sean McCann, Andrew Pepper, Ilana Nash, David Seed, Eddy Von Mueller, Fred L. Gardaphe, Laura Browder, Maureen T. Reddy, Margaret Kinsman, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
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  • Date Published: July 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521199377

$ 76.00

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About the Authors
  • 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, this Companion is a helpful guide for students of American literature and readers of crime fiction.

    • Uses popular fiction to illustrate points, providing readers with a broader literary background
    • Can be used to teach in courses which are specifically related or integrated into broader subject areas
    • Good starting point to raise ideas of further research in underrated and under-researched topics, such as how popular and literary crime fiction influence and shape each other and ways of writing about popular fiction
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521199377
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes on contributors
    1. Introduction Catherine Ross Nickerson
    2. Early crime writing Sara Crosby
    3. Poe and the origins of detective fiction Stephen Rachman
    4. Women writers before 1960 Catherine Ross Nickerson
    5. The hard-boiled novel Sean McCann
    6. The American Roman Noir Andrew Pepper
    7. Teenage detectives and teenage delinquents Ilana Nash
    8. The American spy novel David Seed
    9. Police procedurals in literature and on television Eddy Von Mueller
    10. Mafia stories and the US gangster Fred L. Gardaphe
    11. True crime Laura Browder
    12. Race and American crime fiction Maureen T. Reddy
    13. Feminist crime fiction Margaret Kinsman
    14. Crime and post-modern fiction Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
    American crime fiction: a chronology
    Guide to reading

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Crime and Literature
    • Detective Fiction/Detective Film
    • Expository Writing
    • From the Hard-boiled Crime Novel to Film Noir
    • Literature of Crime (tentative)
    • Men in America
    • Reading the World
    • The Art of the Crime
    • University Writing
  • Editor

    Catherine Ross Nickerson, Emory University, Atlanta
    Catherine Ross Nickerson is Associate Professor of American Studies at Emory University, Atlanta. 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.


    Catherine Ross Nickerson, Sara Crosby, Stephen Rachman, Sean McCann, Andrew Pepper, Ilana Nash, David Seed, Eddy Von Mueller, Fred L. Gardaphe, Laura Browder, Maureen T. Reddy, Margaret Kinsman, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

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