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This ambitious study examines the works of modern African American mystery writers within the social and historical contexts of African American literature on crime and justice. It begins with a historical overview that describes the movement by African American authors from slave narratives and antebellum newspapers into fiction writing, the work of early genre writers, such as Pauline Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher, the protest writers of the 1940s and 1950s, and the authors who followed in the 1960s. The historical section concludes with a discussion of works by late twentieth-century writers such as Toni Morrison and Ernest Gaines and the expansion of the audience for works by African American writers.
The heart of the book is an analysis of works by modern African American mystery writers, focusing on sleuths, the social locations of crime, victims and offenders, the notion of “doing justice,” and the role of African American cultural vernacular…[more]
What do Lizzie Borden and O. J. Simpson have in common? Or the Lindbergh baby and Gary Gilmore? They were all the focus of famous crimes and/or trials in the United States. In this five-volume set, historical and contemporary cases that not only “shocked the nation” but that also became a part of the popular and legal culture of our country are discussed in vivid, and sometimes shocking, detail. Each chapter focuses on a different crime or trial, and explores the ways in which each became famous in its own time. The fascinating cast of characters, the outrageous crimes, the involvement of the media, the actions of the police, and the trials that often surprised combine to offer here one of the most comprehensive set of books available on the subject of famous U.S. crimes and trials.