Sleuthing Ethnicity: The Detective in Multiethnic Crime Fiction

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Sleuthing Ethnicity: The Detective in Multiethnic Crime Fiction reflects the fact that ethnic detective novels have by now become an accepted subgenre of detective fiction. This volume focuses on the characteristics of ethnic detective fiction and the important genre modifications effected by the subgenre. As many contributors indicate, in ethnic detective fiction the importance of the detective's community of origin often superseded the traditional loneliness of the detective. Moreover, ethnic crime fiction addresses issues of personal and social identity that point out the importance of the ethnic community for the individual detective. The essays collected in this volume confront these established issues of ethnic detective fiction but also move beyond them by focusing on wider topics: the intersection of ethnicity and gender; marketing strategies for ethnic mysteries; juvenile ethnic detective literature; changing sexual politics; and historical issues of ethnic crime. The additional focus of this collection of essays on recent international detective fiction outside the United States redirects attention to questions of authenticity, authority, and stereotyping.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2003
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Pages
331
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ISBN
9780838639795
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Literary Collections / General
Literary Criticism / American / African American
Literary Criticism / Native American
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This content is DRM protected.
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The undead are very much alive in contemporary entertainment and lore. Indeed, vampires and zombies have garnered attention in print media, cinema, and on television. The vampire, with roots in medieval European folklore, and the zombie, with origins in Afro-Caribbean mythology, have both undergone significant transformations in global culture, proliferating as deviant representatives of the zeitgeist.

As this volume demonstrates, distribution of vampires and zombies across time and space has revealed these undead figures to carry multiple meanings. Of all monsters, vampires and zombies seem to be the trendiest--the most regularly incarnate of the undead and the monsters most frequently represented in the media and pop culture. Moreover, both figures have experienced radical reinterpretations. If in the past vampires were evil, blood-sucking exploiters and zombies were brainless victims, they now have metamorphosed into kinder and gentler blood-sucking vampires and crueler, more relentless, flesh-eating zombies.

Although the portrayals of both vampires and zombies can be traced back to specific regions and predate mass media, the introduction of mass distribution through film and game technologies has significantly modified their depiction over time and in new environments. Among other topics, contributors discuss zombies in Thai films, vampire novels of Mexico, and undead avatars in horror videogames. This volume--with scholars from different national and cultural backgrounds--explores the transformations that the vampire and zombie figures undergo when they travel globally and through various media and cultures.

Recent crime fiction increasingly transcends national boundaries, with investigators operating across countries and continents. Frequently, the detective is a migrant or comes from a transcultural background. To solve the crime, the investigator is called upon to decipher the meaning(s) hidden in clues and testimonies that require transcultural forms of understanding. For the reader, the investigation discloses new interpretive methods and processes of social investigation, often challenging facile interpretations of the postcolonial world order.
Under the rubric 'postcolonial postmortems', this collection of essays seeks to explore the tropes, issues and themes that characterise this emergent form of crime fiction. But what does the 'postcolonial' bring to the genre apart from the well-known, and valid, discourses of resistance, subversion and ethnicity? And why 'postmortems'? A dissection and medical examination of a body to determine the cause of death, the 'postmortem' of the postcolonial not only alludes to the investigation of the victim's remains, but also to the body of the individual text and its contexts.
This collection interrogates literary concepts of postcoloniality and crime from transcultural perspectives in the attempt to offer new critical impulses to the study of crime fiction and postcolonial literatures. International scholars offer insights into the 'postcolonial postmortems' of a wide range of texts by authors from Africa, South Asia, the Asian and African Diaspora, and Australia, including Robert G. Barrett, Unity Dow, Wessel Ebersohn, Romesh Gunesekera, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sujata Massey, Alexander McCall Smith and Michael Ondaatje.
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