Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir by female authors

From: david david (
Date: 05 Jan 2007

since some women have a preconception of the genre as male-centered and have avoided crime/noir/hardboiled fiction altogether, i think discovering women authors could be an entry into the genre for some. i agree with miker's implication that the main criteria for appreciation should of course be the achievement and not the gender of the writer. at the same time i think that the efforts of feminist presses to rescue female authors of bygone eras from obscurity is important, and even in the cases where novels aren't great, we may get unique insights about female perspectives/characters from them. case in point is fallen angel by mary holland, a writer that Cain really liked.

 i mentioned only the earlier writers because i haven't read any modern crime fiction writers yet--i'm still reading the 30s-60s stuff--and can't recommend any newer stuff by women or men, though i hope to get to newer writers in the next few years

--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> david wrote:
> Maybe more women would appreciate the genre if
> exposed
> to notable women noir writers of the classic era:
> Mary
> (a.k.a Marty) Holland (personal fave), Virginia
> Kellog, Lenore Coffee, Vera Caspary, Leigh Brackett,
> Dorothy Hughes, etc.
> ************
> I didn't think Caspary's Laura was noir. Ditto for
> Brackett's No Good from a Corpse. Caspary's writing
> was not too bad, but I thought Brackett's novel was
> poor, a third-rate Chandler imitation. On the other
> hand, Dorothy Hughes's Ride the Pink Horse was
> spectacular. A powerful psychological story of the
> dark side. Also I see no particular advantage
> sticking with the older classics. Vicki Hendricks's
> Iguana Love is outstanding, as is Natsuo Kirino's
> Out.
> But I don't think that women reading noirs by women
> authors would do much to increase their appreciation
> of the genre.
> miker
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