Detective Fiction in a Postcolonial and Transnational World  book cover
1st Edition

Detective Fiction in a Postcolonial and Transnational World

ISBN 9781138275423
Published November 16, 2016 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Taking up a neglected area in the study of the crime novel, this collection investigates the growing number of writers who adapt conventions of detective fiction to expose problems of law, ethics, and truth that arise in postcolonial and transnational communities. While detective fiction has been linked to imperialism and constructions of race from its earliest origins, recent developments signal the evolution of the genre into a potent framework for narrating the complexities of identity, citizenship, and justice in a postcolonial world. Among the authors considered are Vikram Chandra, Gabriel García Márquez, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick Chamoiseau, Mario Vargas Llosa, Suki Kim, and Walter Mosley. The essays explore detective stories set in Latin America, the Caribbean, India, and North America, including novels that view the American metropolis from the point of view of Asian American, African American, or Latino characters. Offering ten new and original essays by scholars in the field, this volume highlights the diverse employment of detective fictions internationally, and uncovers important political and historical subtexts of popular crime novels.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: open cases: detection, (post)modernity, and the state, Nels Pearson and Marc Singer; Investigating truth, history, and human rights in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost, Emily S. Davis; Postcolonial noir: Vikram Chandra's 'Kama,' Claire Chambers; Postcolonial epistemologies: transcending boundaries and re-inscribing difference in The Calcutta Chromosome, Maureen Lauder; Detective narrative typology: going undercover in the French Caribbean, Jason Herbeck; Out on parole: suspending oral culture's death sentence in Patrick Chamoiseau's Solibo Magnifique, Greg Wright; A journey lost in mystery: Mario Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes, Haiqing Sun; The hunt for the world's greatest outlaw: imperialist policing, the journalistic novel, and the 'war on terror' in Colombia, Robin Truth Goodman; 'Sympathetic traveling': horizontal ethics and aesthetics in Paco Ignacio Taibo's Belascoaran Shayne novels, Jennifer Lewis; Hot on the heels of postcolonial America: the case of the Latina detective, Wendy Knepper; Walter Moseley's Devil in a Blue Dress: the reforming spirit of neo-noir, Raphaël Lambert; Lost in translation: the multicultural interpreter as metaphysical detective in Suki Kim's The Interpreter, Soo Yeon Kim; Index.

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Nels Pearson is Assistant Professor of English at Fairfield University, USa and Marc Singer is Assistant Professor of English at Howard University, USA


'... provides a good deal of enlightening and challenging material. ... [This book] bring[s] forward many new critics and unduly overlooked authors...' Clues 'Detective Fiction in a Postcolonial and Transnational World provides a good illustration of how detective fiction has evolved and adapted to a changing postcolonial world, and the book contains many insightful chapters.' Transnational Literature '... convincingly demonstrates the usefulness of the detective fiction paradigm to explore questions of postcolonial and globalized identity and justice. The wide-ranging, diverse, and multilingual selection of primary texts makes this a valuable source for scholars of postcolonialism and globalization.' Notes and Queries 'Pearson and Singer's strong collection builds self-consciously on recent studies ... but exceeds the scope and cultural range of its predecessors by including essays on detective fictions by authors from Martinique, Peru, India, and multi-ethnic communities in the United States.' Wasafiri