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Crime Fiction

  • Sat, 16 Apr 2016
  • 1.00 PM - 6.00 PM
  • Tickets: £8/7

In novels and on television, crime fiction remains ever popular.  How do we account for its dominance in contemporary culture? Is it the immediacy with which it can reflect the concerns and obsessions of society, or the safe place it offers from which we can explore the darker sides of humanity?  Perhaps it’s simply that the narrative propulsion of a tightly-woven crime plot is a source of licensed thrills, pleasure and comforting reassurance.

Join our panel of crime writers and critics for an afternoon of readings and panel discussions about their work, influences and their own perspectives on the crime fiction genre. 

Our themes are:

The Thrill of Finding Connections  One of the great pleasures of crime fiction is the way it invites the reader to spot connections between facts, characters and clues as the story unfolds. In this session we consider how this enjoyment extends to recognising references to other works through allusion, influence and author’s borrowings and transformations, whether conscious or unconscious.   

Loving the Bad Guy:  the Heart of Noir   Critics have defined noir fiction and film as stories in which the central character crosses legal and social boundaries for his/her own personal gain, be it sexual, monetary or political.  For all their criminality and even amorality these characters are often compelling figures.  This discussion will give us the opportunity to discuss why we are so drawn, despite our better instincts, to those who transgress moral conventions.

Shackled by Stereotype?  This session will consider whether crime fiction offers a safe space for diverse cultural and ethnic perspectives and alternative gender identities.   In the past it has been seen as a genre dominated by conservative points of view with associated racial and gender stereotypes.   Has this reading been successfully challenged by new voices and more inclusive perspectives?   

Our authors and contributors include: 

John Connolly, award-winning author of the Charlie Parker Mysteries and the Samuel Johnson Novels;  Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising, Mr.Glamour, and One Lost Summer;  Andrew Pepper, author of  Last Days of Newgate, The Detective Branch and Bloody Winter;  Prof Cynthia Hamilton, author of Western and Hard-boiled Detective Fiction in America, 1890-1940; Dr Jacqui Miller, leader of Liverpool Hope University’s  Popular Culture Research Group, and Louise Phillips, winner of the 2013 Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year.

Tickets £8/£7

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