Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, and Television
360 Pages / 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.06 in / 2 halftones
- Hardcover /
- 9780807171653 /
- Published: October 2019
- eBook /
- 9780807172698 /
- Published: October 2019
Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, & Television, edited by Deborah E. Barker and Theresa Starkey, examines the often-overlooked and undervalued impact of the U.S. South on the origins and development of the detective genre and film noir. This wide-ranging collection engages with ongoing discussions about genre, gender, social justice, critical race theory, popular culture, cinema, and mass media. Focusing on the South, these essays uncover three frequently interrelated themes: the acknowledgment of race as it relates to slavery, segregation, and discrimination; the role of land as a source of income, an ecologically threatened space, or a place of seclusion; and the continued presence of the southern gothic in recurring elements such as dilapidated plantation houses, swamps, family secrets, and the occult. Twenty-two critical essays probe how southern detective narratives intersect with popular genre forms such as neo-noir, hard-boiled fiction, the dark thriller, suburban noir, amateur sleuths, journalist detectives, and television police procedurals.
Alongside essays by scholars, Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, and Television presents pieces by authors of detective and crime fiction, including Megan Abbott and Ace Atkins, who address the extent to which the South and its artistic traditions influenced their own works. By considering the diversity of authors and characters associated with the genre, this accessible collection provides an overdue examination of the historical, political, and aesthetic contexts out of which the southern detective narrative emerged and continues to evolve.
Far beyond the noir shadows of Intruder in the Dust and True Detective, the South has had long intimacy with mystery. This book reminds us just how rich and expansive that history is, and how enduring the impulse to detect the South has remained across the generations. ~Robert Jackson, author of Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema
Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, and Television persuasively makes the case for the centrality of the southern detective narrative to American literature and culture, illuminating the role of region in shaping hard-boiled stories about national identity, justice, and concepts of criminality. Linking work by creative writers and critics, the collection smartly sifts through complex cultural narratives to offer new clues about the working of place, power, and knowledge. ~Lisa Hinrichsen, coeditor of Small-Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television
From Welty to Atkins, the plantation to the French Quarter, and Sheriff Andy Taylor to Rust Cohle, this is a truly fascinating dive into the underworlds of myriad Souths. Featuring a strong and diverse cast of scholars and novelists, Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, and Television provides new insights into southern geography, race, inequality, sexuality, class, and environment—and ultimately the nature of southernness itself—by way of the grit and violence that has always lurked inside our most cherished novels, films, and TV shows. ~Matthew Christopher Hulbert, author of The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory: How Civil War Bushwhackers Became Gunslingers in the American West