Annal: 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Critical/Biographical Work

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2012.

Book:On Conan Doyle

On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling

Michael Dirda

A passionate lifelong fan of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda is a member of The Baker Street Irregulars—the most famous and romantic of all Sherlockian groups. Combining memoir and appreciation, On Conan Doyle is a highly engaging personal introduction to Holmes’s creator, as well as a rare insider’s account of the curiously delightful activities and playful scholarship of The Baker Street Irregulars.

Because Arthur Conan Doyle wrote far more than the mysteries involving Holmes, this book also introduces readers to the author’s lesser-known but fascinating writings in an astounding range of other genres. A prolific professional writer, Conan Doyle was among the most important Victorian masters of the supernatural short story, an early practitioner of science fiction, a major exponent of historical fiction, a charming essayist and memoirist, and an outspoken public figure who attacked racial injustice…[more]

Book:Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making

Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making–More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks

John Curran

This follow-up to the Edgar-nominated Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks features Christie’s unpublished work, including an analysis of her last unfinished novel, and a foreword by the acclaimed actor David Suchet.

In this invaluable work, the Agatha Christie expert and archivist John Curran examines the unpublished notebooks of the world’s bestselling author to explore the techniques she used to surprise and entertain generations of readers. Also drawing on Christie’s personal papers and letters, he reveals how more than twenty of her novels, as well as stage scripts, short stories, and some more personal items, evolved. As he addresses the last notebook, Curran uses his deep knowledge of Christie to offer an insightful, well-reasoned analysis of her final unfinished work, based on her notes.

Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making features several wonderful gems, including Christie’s own essay on her…[more]

Book:Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film

Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film

Philippa Gates

In this extensive and authoritative study of over 300 films, Philippa Gates explores the “woman detective” figure from her pre-cinematic origins in nineteenth century detective fiction through her many incarnations throughout the history of Hollywood cinema. Through the lens of theories of gender, genre, and stardom and engaging with the critical concepts of performativity, masquerade, and feminism, Detecting Women analyzes constructions of the female investigator in the detective genre and focuses on the evolution of her representation from 1929 to today. While a popular assumption is that images of women have become increasingly positive over this period, Gates argues that the most progressive and feminist models of the female detective exist in mainstream film’s more peripheral products such as 1930’s B-picture and 1970’s Blaxploitation films. Offering revisions and new insights into peripheral forms of mainstream film, Gates explores this space that allows a fantasy of resolution of social anxieties about crime and, more interestingly, gender, in the 20th and early 21st centuries. The author’s innovative, engaging, and capacious approach to this important figure within feminist film history breaks new ground in the field of gender and film studies.

Book:Scripting Hitchcock

Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie

Walter Raubicheck, Walter Srebnick

Scripting Hitchcock explores the collaborative process between Alfred Hitchcock and the screenwriters he hired to write the scripts for three of his greatest films: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie. Drawing from extensive interviews with the screenwriters and other film technicians who worked for Hitchcock, Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick illustrate how much of the filmmaking process took place not on the set or in front of the camera, but in the adaptation of the sources, the mutual creation of plot and characters by the director and the writers, and the various revisions of the written texts of the films. Hitchcock allowed his writers a great deal of creative freedom, which resulted in dynamic screenplays that expanded traditional narrative and defied earlier conventions. Critically examining the question of authorship in film, Raubicheck and Srebnick argue that Hitchcock did establish visual and narrative priorities for his writers, but his role in the writing process was that of an editor.…[more]

Book:The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson

The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of Our Time

Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer, John-Henri Holmberg

The fascinating stories behind what have been rightly called the “hottest books on the planet”: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Through insightful commentary and revealing interviews, you will enter the unique world of Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist—and of Stieg Larsson himself—discovering the fascinating real-life experiences and incidents involving Swedish politics, violence against women, and neo-Nazis that are at the heart of Larsson’s work.

John-Henri Holmberg, a Swedish author and close friend of Larsson for more than three decades, provides a unique insider’s look into the secrets of the author’s imaginative universe, his life, and his ideas for future books—including the mysterious “fourth book” in the series, which Larsson had started but not finished at the time of his death. …[more]

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