RARA-AVIS: Noir is still the color

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 04 Apr 2006

Check out the new Library Journal, with its story on

"Dark is the New Cozy : Crime in translation, the dominance of noir, and conjuring the paranormal."


A sample...

"Why are Japanese women writing noir fiction, the preserve of mainly male writers? "There is a revolution going on in Japan, and these books represent that," says Shatzkin. "These authors write about angry female characters who act in ways that go against the Madame Butterfly stereotype of the submissive Japanese woman."

"Judging by the success of two-year-old retro-pulp publisher Hard Case Crime, which scored a coup in 2005 with Stephen King's The Colorado Kid (LJ 9/15/05), the resurgence of hard-boiled crime fiction continues. Recalling how difficult it was to sell a noir novel 20 years ago in a market dominated by cat mysteries, publisher Charles Ardai wryly notes that these trends run in cycles. "At some point, people will get sick of angst, and they will want more cats. "

Among the noir titles Hard Case has scheduled are Bust (May), the first collaboration ("very, very dark," says Ardai) between award-winning crime writers Ken Bruen and Jason Starr; Max Allan Collins's The Last Quarry
(Aug.), featuring a hit man Collins first created in the Seventies; and David Dodge's The Last Match (Oct.), a newly discovered unpublished novel from the late author of It Takes a Thief.

"Publishers like Bleak House are revitalizing noir, too, with books like Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues (May) by Randall Peffer. The protagonist is a half-Vietnamese, half-African American drag queen accused of murdering her lover. Says publisher Benjamin LeRoy, "It's dark. I mean dark. It's unlike anything I've read before, and the language is art." This September, readers will go for a walk on the dark side of Phoenix, not usually considered noir territory, when Poisoned Pen publishes Jon Talton's Arizona Dreams.

"The most original neo-noir voices, however, are British. A rising star is Newcastle-based Martyn Waites, whose gritty, hard-hitting thrillers have been praised by Ian Rankin. The Mercy Seat, his sixth novel and the first to be published in the United States, heads Pegasus Books' debut list this spring. Founding publisher Hancock, who previously edited mysteries for Carroll & Graf, lauds Waites's ability to evoke provocatively a city's dark underbelly and predicts the young writer will become a big deal in the crime fiction world."

Looking good.

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Apr 2006 EDT