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Otto Penzler
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Black studies

Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Fiction by African-American Writers

Otto Penzler, ed.
Publisher Pegasus  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781605980577
Pages/Publication Date 349/2009
Daedalus Item Code 31172
This item is not available.
Some of the best-known and most influential pieces of crime fiction have been from African American writers, from Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins in postwar L.A. to the mean streets of Harlem in the hands of Chester Himes. The stories and characters in this anthology—contributed by writers like Mosley, Himes, Robert Greer, Cary Phillips, Frankie Bailey, and Richard Wright, and collected by Otto Penzler—have shaped the mystery genre with their own unique viewpoints and styles.

"As mystery fiction expert Penzler notes in his concise overview of African-American crime writing at the start of this welcome anthology, despite the central element linking the 15 short stories, they transcend race and genre to fulfill their primary purpose—to inform and entertain. Contributors include expected names like Walter Mosley and Chester Himes, not to mention Robert Greer, Gary Phillips and Eleanor Taylor Bland, as well as writers rescued from obscurity by their inclusion in this mostly reprint volume. Edward P. Jones's 'Old Boys, Old Girls' is the standout, a powerful if grim psychological portrait of a man after his imprisonment for murder. Of historical interest are Hughes Allison's 'Corollary' (1948), the first story by an African-American to appear in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and Pauline E. Hopkins's 'Talma Gordon' (1900), the first impossible crime tale published by an African-American."—Publishers Weekly

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