From: John Williams ( johnwilliams@ntlworld.com)
Date: 01 Aug 2002

I wrote
> >The challenge [...] is to apply the things I
> >like about noir/hb [...] to novels that do not
> >neccessarily need to revolve around a dead body or a
> >zillion dollar coke deal.
Charlie replied

 This is interesting. I think you're on to something here. Could you give
> just one example of this kind of challenge being pulled off?

Hmm, well it's often happened in reverse - writers whose straight literature had the virtues I tend to admire in hb fiction often failed to find an audience till they took up the full trappings of the genre - James Lee Burke, Chester Himes, Charles Willeford, etc - but in most cases it's at least arguable that their best work remains their non-genre work - I'm thinking of The Lost Get Back Boogie, The Primitive, Cockfighter/Pick-Up,

Meanwhile non genre hb might include - based on a quick survey of books I can see from where I'm sitting - Richard Price, Daniel Woodrell's last three books, Walter Mosley's Socrates Fortlow books, some Russell Banks, Ernest Gaines, Albert French, Jonathan Lethem, Lesley Glaister - obviously it's also a question of marketing, not to mention bookshop shelving.


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