Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS tart noir

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 30 Jun 2001

cd asked:

"What is this tart noir I've heard about? is it consciously hard boiled dames, as is my impression? Is it a self-imposed term? I'd like to know more, and some of the writers associated with it."

Your impression is pretty much correct. The term is self-imposed. Here is their definition of the term from their website at

"Tart. It's a potent four-letter word. Sweet, sour, sharp, sexy, bad, with a touch of cheesecake. It seemed to sum up the detectives in a certain segment of the crime fiction genre, the independent-minded female sleuths who are tough enough to take on thugs and corrupt cops, tender enough to be moved by tough, tender men (or women, as the case may be). These are neofeminist women, half Philip Marlowe, half femme-fatale, who make their own rules, who think it's entirely possible to save the world while wearing a drop-dead dress and stiletto heels. Our heroines are Modesty Blaise and Emma Peel, our morals are questionable and our attitude always needs adjustment... "
  Lauren Henderson and Katy Munger are the co-founders. Fellow travellers include Tony Fennelly and Stella Duffy.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Jun 2001 EDT