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Cultural Theory

Criminal Proceedings
The Contemporary American Crime Novel

Product Description

‘The collection assembles a wide variety of both types of lawman and law-woman, including racist, misogynistic cops, Navajo police (one with traditional religious interests), feminists PIs, and Western detectives – along with assorted lawyers and FBI agents... What does unite the contributors, apart from their ability to write accessible yet sophisticated prose, is their professionalism,’ Ralph Willett, Borderlines: Studies in American Culture

'This welcome collection of essays ... will be of use to almost anyone interested in the field and its contemporary state.' Jopi Nyman, European Association for American Studies

Criminal Proceedings offers a comprehensive view of some of the most important developments in crime fiction. The contributors explore the significant new directions which the genre has recently taken and examine their importance in terms of American cultural self-definition as they tap into contemporary concerns about place, identity, gender, race, oppression and justice.

In particular, the contributors focus on the ways in which new multicultural perspectives are now challenging the predominantly white, male tradition. The work of some of America’s best crime writers are examined, including Patricia Cornwell, James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosely and Barbara Wilson. The proliferation of sub-genres, such as court and police procedurals, is also examined. Criminal Proceedings is a fascinating survey of one of the liveliest and most distinctively American of literary genres.

About The Author

Peter Messent is Reader in the Modern American Novel at the University of Nottingham and has written widely on contemporary American fiction.

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