Sep 1, 2012

New Jersey noir - Joyce Carol Oates

New Jersey noir - Joyce Carol Oates

Summary: Sitting between the great cities of New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey has been by tradition a heavily "organized" Mafia state, as it was at one time a northern outpost of the Ku Klux Klan, with a concentration of members in Trenton, Camden, Monmouth County, and South Jersey . . . In such ways, the most civilized and "decent" among us find that we are complicit with the most brutal murderers. We enter into literally unspeakable alliances--of which we dare not speak except through the obliquities and indirections of fiction, poetry, and visual art of the sort gathered here in New Jersey Noir.

Publishers Weekly Reviews
Oates's introduction to Akashic's noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book. While few of the 19 selections qualify as outstanding, highlights include Lou Manfredo's "Soul Anatomy," in which a politically connected rookie cop is involved in a fatal shooting in Camden; S.J. Rozan's "New Day Newark," in which an elderly woman takes a stand against two drug-dealing gangs; and Jonathan Santlofer's "Lola," in which a struggling Hoboken artist finds his muse. Two stories reflect historical events. In Bradford Morrow's "The Enigma of Grover's Mill," Orson Welles's infamous broadcast of The War of the Worlds changes the life of one local family, while in Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini's "Meadowlands Spike," a man's confession details the end of Jimmy Hoffa. Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others—plus photos by Gerald Slota—enhance this distinguished entry. (Nov.)

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