Talking About Detective Fiction

Author: P. D. James

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 0307743136

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 0

View: 9116


P. D. James, the undisputed queen of mystery, gives us an intriguing, inspiring and idiosyncratic look at the genre she has spent her life perfecting. Examining mystery from top to bottom, beginning with such classics as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and then looking at such contemporary masters as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell, P. D. James goes right to the heart of the genre. Along the way she traces the lives and writing styles of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, and many more. Here is P.D. James discussing detective fiction as social history, explaining its stylistic components, revealing her own writing process, and commenting on the recent resurgence of detective fiction in modern culture. It is a must have for the mystery connoisseur and casual fan alike.

Jolly Good Detecting

Author: Bruce Shaw

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476613966

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 324

View: 6982


This book is an appreciation of selected authors who make extensive use of humor in English detective/crime fiction. Works using humor as an amelioration of the serious have their heyday in the Golden Age of crime writing but they belong also to a long tradition. There is an identifiable lineage of humorous writing in crime fiction that ranges from mild wit to outright farce, burlesque, even slapstick. A mix of entertainment with instruction is a tradition in English letters. English crime fiction writers of the era circa 1913 to 1940 were raised in the mainstream literary tradition but turned their skills to detective fiction. And they are the humorists of the genre. This book is not an exhaustive study but an introduction into the best produced by the most capable and enjoyable authors. What the humorists seek is to surprise the reader by overturning their expectations using a repertoire of stylistic conceits and motifs (recurring incidents, devices, references). Humor has a liberating effect but is concerned too with "comic contrast" through ugliness and caricature. In crime fiction one effect is intellectual pleasure at solving (or attempting to solve) a puzzle. Another is entertainment but with serious undertones.

It's All One Case

Author: Paul Nelson,Kevin Avery

Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

ISBN: 1606998889

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 8206


This is a prose series of unpublished interviews with, and a visual retrospective of, the seminal mid- to late-20th century literary crime writer. In 1976, critic Paul Nelson spent several weeks interviewing legendary detective writer Ross Macdonald, who elevated the form to a new literary level. “We talked about everything imaginable,” Nelson wrote―including Macdonald’s often meager beginnings; his dual citizenship; writers, painters, music, and movies he admired; The Great Gatsby, his favorite book; how he used symbolism to change detective writing; and more. This book, published in a handsome, oversized format, collects these unpublished interviews and is a visual history of Macdonald’s professional career. It is illustrated with rare and select items from one of the world’s largest private archives of Macdonald ephemera; reproduces, in full color, the covers of the various editions of Macdonald’s more than two dozen books; collects facsimile reproductions of select pages from his manuscripts, as well as magazine spreads; and presents rare photos, many never before seen.

P.D. James

Author: Laurel A. Young

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786497912

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 287

View: 4175


British National Health Service employee Phyllis Dorothy James White (1920-2014) reinvented herself at age 38 as P.D. James, crime novelist. She then became long known as England's "Queen of Crime." Sixteen of her 20 novels feature one or both of her series detectives, Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard and private eye Cordelia Gray. Stand-alone works include the dystopian The Children of Men (1992) and Death Comes to Pemberley (2011), a sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. James's careful plotting has earned comparison with Golden Age British detective writers such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Yet James's work is thoroughly modern, with realistic descriptions of police procedures and the echoes and aftereffects of crime. This literary companion includes more than 700 encyclopedic entries covering the characters, settings and themes of her published writing, along with a career chronology, chronological and alphabetical listings of her works, and an exhaustive index.

Tatort Germany

Author: Lynn M. Kutch,Todd Herzog

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

ISBN: 1571135715

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 273

View: 7485


New essays by leading scholars examining today's vibrant and innovative German crime fiction, along with its historical background.

Detective Fiction and The African Scene

Author: Linus Asong

Publisher: African Books Collective

ISBN: 9956727032

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 69

View: 2062


From its very inception, detective fiction has enjoyed a great popularity among the young and the old, the learned and the not so learned. By some unfortunate stroke of irony, its respect has not kept pace with its enormous popularity. For over half a century now, it has remained the bane of creative writing. In strict intellectual circles, it is very rare to find people talk defensively and interestingly about the genre. Yet Asong has chosen to do just that. He has stoutly defended the weak by putting up a good case for its continued existence. He has also shown how irresistible key elements of the genre are to even the best respected novelists. Finally he has demonstrated for the first time, how the genre has been domesticated by African writers of very great repute such as Ngugi, Sembene and Lessing. That he has been able to prove that these writers have used techniques of detective fiction is a significant broadening of the horizons for appreciating creative writing in Africa.

Michael Chabon's America

Author: Jesse Kavadlo,Bob Batchelor

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442236051

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 280

View: 1769


Michael Chabon’s America: Magical Words, Secret Worlds, and Sacred Spaces is the first comprehensive scholarly collection analyzing the work of acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. At its core, the book demonstrates how Chabon uses a broad range of styles and genres, including detective and comic book fiction and essays and other works of nonfiction, to get at the heart of defining the American experience. As a result, Michael Chabon’s America provides context and exploration for understanding the author’s work from cultural, historical, and stylistic perspectives by scholars from five continents, revealing Chabon’s deep global impact.

How to Write Like Tolstoy

Author: Richard Cohen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1786070227

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 2175


A Spectator Best Book of the Year ‘There are three rules for writing a novel,’ Somerset Maugham once said. ‘Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.’ So how to bring characters to life, find a voice, kill your darlings, avoid plagiarism (or choose not to), or run that most challenging of literary gauntlets—writing a good sex scene? Veteran editor and author Richard Cohen takes us on a fascinating excursion into the lives and minds of our greatest writers—from Balzac and Eliot to Woolf and Nabokov, through to Zadie Smith and Stephen King, with a few mischievous detours to Tolstoy along the way. In a glittering tour d’horizon, he lays bare their tricks, motivations, techniques, obsessions and flaws.

Mysteries Unlocked

Author: Curtis Evans

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476616086

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 7222


In honor of the 70th birthday of Professor Douglas G. Greene, mystery genre scholar and publisher, this book offers 24 new essays and two reprinted classics on detective fiction by contributors around the world, including ten Edgar (Mystery Writers of America) winners and nominees. The essays cover a myriad of authors and books from more than a century, from J.S. Fletcher’s The Investigators, originally serialized in 1901, to P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, published at the end of 2011. Subjects covered include detective fiction in the Edwardian era and the “Golden Age” between the two world wars; hard-boiled detective fiction; mysteries and intellectuals; and pastiches, short stories and radio plays.