RARA-AVIS: What defines "hardboiled"/women authors

Hardboiled is an attitude and the resulting style. The presence of a
trenchcoat, smoker, drinker, gambler, pistol, or even foreskin (?!) do not
in themselves identify a piece of writing as hardboiled. They are
leitmotifs, tools, and symbols of the lifestyles and attitudes of the
characters....but, the characters must be hardboiled and not squeezy, sap
eyed puppies. 

I haven't yet seen any women authors recognized as "hardboiled" in the short
time I've subscribed to this list, but, were it up to me to name the queen
of hardboiled, I'd shout out Fran Lebowitz. Terse, sardonic, curmudgeonly,
precise, against the current, and able to call a sam a spade (ouch!).
Doesn't cook. Never without a lit cigarette (which makes interstate travel a
challenge). Not married or coupled up. No fluff in her writing. 

Sandra Hess

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