Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: University Courses

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 17 Apr 2001

Michael wrote;

"somewhere in there will be a whole section on America's love affair w/ the serial killer (featuring Hitchcock's _Psycho_, Thompson's _Killer Inisde Me_, Westlake's _The Ax_, and the film of _American Psycho_)"

Have you thought about a book by Robert Ressler or John Douglas to show them what real serial killers are like, to highlight the mythmaking in that love affair?

"I'm teaching a grad course on same subject next Spring, but that course will almost certainly be on black (that is, African-American) crime fiction, esp its relationship to American History/Politics. The course will feature black writers, obviously, though I'm thinking of putting Pelecanos's _Right as Rain_ in there (haven't read it yet) just to throw a curve. That should force people to reconsider what the "Black" in
"Black Crime Fiction" means (you're not black, are you George? Because that would fuck up my little plan)"

The great Lew Griffin books by James Sallis would also make the point. Because of his black first person narrator, just about everyone assumes Sallis, himself, is black. And his publishers seem to perpetuate this misunderstanding, neglecting to put his picture on his books. In no way questioning George's "black" voice, his white face is on his book jackets, so if you really want to blindside them, you might want to try Sallis, if his Lew Griffin books are still in print.


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