Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Six great works at the intersection of literary fiction & crime

Adam White grew up in Damariscotta, Maine, and now lives with his wife and son in Boston, where he teaches writing and coaches lacrosse. He holds an MFA from Columbia University.

The Midcoast is his first novel.

At CrimeReads White tagged six "great works of literary fiction that take, as their subjects, characters who’ve chosen a life of crime." One title on the list:
Lush Life, Richard Price

Most writers on this list write literary fiction that might—at least this once—qualify as crime fiction. But Richard Price writes crime fiction that pretty much always qualifies as literary. It’s not easy to understand what’s going on in a Price novel—characters speak to one another in shorthand, as if you’re not there, as if they’ve never even heard of a reader—but, slowly, you acclimate. Learning the language makes you an insider. If you’re a fan of The Wire (a show Price wrote for), then you know the experience, and you’ll be a fan of Price’s work (if you’re not already). In Lush Life, Price tracks the fallout from a shooting in the Lower East Side in 2003. Time and place are important. Price is examining the threshold between old New York and new New York, a city that’s in the process of gentrifying but not all the way there yet. Characters live parallel lives, separated by class, race, and occupation—until a homicide flings them all together.
Read about another entry on the list.

Lush Life is among Ellen Wehle's five top cop books and Gavin Knight's five top books on gang crime.

--Marshal Zeringue