RARA-AVIS: It's a Small, Hard-Boiled World, After All... (was: Russian Killers)

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 05 Jul 2000

Actually, part of the reason you don't see much foreign crime fiction is that, when it comes to crime fiction, supposedly Americans don't like reading about other cultures, unless it's some twee, mythical, cosy England, or it's written by an American.

At least, that's what more than a few American and Canadian publishers have told several Canadian crime writers I know of. More than a few have been encouraged to drop Canadian settings, and use American ones. Fortunately for art, if not for commerce, some of them have resisted. Toronto is not Newark, and Montreal is not Dallas.

It's too bad Americans seem to mostly export culture, and rarely import it. If Americans aren't comfortable with an Canadian setting, imagine how well they'd take Japan, or Germany or South Africa or Denmark or some other place really different? I mean, there are some really great, or at the least, very very interesting, crime writers out there. Cuba's Jose Latour (whom Anthony mentioned), is a mere drop in the bucket. Others that immediately spring to mind include Leo Malet, Peter Corris, Manual Montalban and Kobo Abe. And therte's tons more I could mention if I'd already had my coffee. Some I've read, others I'm still hoping to read some day. Based on what I've heard about some of them, I'm looking forward to it.

Hmmm....maybe this is a good idea for my next P.I. Poll, Best Foreign Eyes....

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/

New fiction from Anthony Neil Smith and Jochem Vandersteen, a Reader's Survey and Talkin' 'Bout Shaft. Can you dig it?

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