Teaching Crime Fiction and the African American Literary Canon

King, Nicole. 2016. Teaching Crime Fiction and the African American Literary Canon. In: Katy Shaw, ed. Teaching 21st Century Genres. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 47-65. ISBN 9781137553898 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Teaching African American literature, whether it is designated as ‘literary’ or ‘popular,’ is political and carries with it a political resonance. According to some calculations, detective stories are the most widely read literary genre in the United States, but the fact that African American writers have been writing in this genre since the early twentieth century is less well known (Dietzel 2006: 159). Rudolph Fisher’s novel The Conjure Man Dies: A Mystery of Dark Harlem (1932) is understood as an important precursor to the mid and late twentieth-century crime fiction of Chester Himes and Walter Mosley. Earlier still, Pauline E. Hopkins used the Colored American magazine to serialize her novel Hagar’s Daughter (March 1901–March 1902) which features the first black female detective in fiction (Dietzel 2006: 158).

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Book Section

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Racial Identity; American Literature; Threshold Concept; Literary Fiction; Sugar Cane Plantation


20 December 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2018 13:31

Last Modified:

17 Nov 2020 17:11



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