Re: RARA-AVIS: Stagger Lee and Blaxploitation books

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 01 Apr 2000

> Although I haven't gotten that far with Pelecanos, I know he draws on
> Blaxploitation in the DC Quartet. I've only read Stray Dogs by Ridley.
> I don't remember the race of the protagonist ever being specified -- of
> course, I read it knowing Mickey Rourke was going to play the role, so
> that may have influenced my take. Is race a factor in his other books?

Race is definitely a factor in Ridley's Everybody Smokes in Hell, but not so much in Love Is A Racket. Penn played the Stray Dogs (U-Turn) part, though.

Pelecanos deals with issues of race, especailly since he deals with Washington DC. Explicit in King Suckerman, but it's there in the early Stefanos work, and in the latest two, Sweet Forever and Shame the Devil. He's interested in more than the Black/White issues, expanding into Greek
(sure) and Hispanic too. I hear his next one is even more concerned with racial issues--at least that's what he's telling people.

Neil Smith

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