Let her go:Reinventing black characters in English black crime fiction

Kalu, Peter (2019) Let her go:Reinventing black characters in English black crime fiction. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This practice-based PhD submission consists of an original novel (80% weighting) of 70,000 words and a reflective critical thesis (20% weighting) of 25,000 words. The novel, Let Her Go, seeks to expand the crime fiction genre, following the search of Saul Hanley for the reasons his daughter, Tishana, died of a drugs overdose. The work combines crime-fiction tropes with elements of the road novel and the quest, whilst allowing its central character an interior presence that explores consciousness in ways that deepen our realization of human indeterminacy and complicity whilst also questioning and re-positioning the nature of crime and criminality. The thesis opens with a series of definitions: of ‘black’ and of ‘crime fiction’. A short analysis of problematics and a periodized history of English black crime fiction follow. The thesis then examines the ways in which Let Her Go departs from pre-existing works, focusing on (a) abandonments of existing tropes, fixations and locations in the examined black crime fiction and (b) modifications and adoptions of other technical and thematic elements. The use of stream-of-consciousness and epistolary techniques is explored and the influence within the writing process of habitus, hybridity and related innovations of location. It then examines the influence of ideas drawn from criminology and jurisprudence, as well as intersections of class and gender within the novel. The thesis concludes with an assessment of the success of Let Her Go’s attempt at reinvention of black characters in crime fiction.

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Thesis (PhD)
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19 Nov 2019 16:40
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 02:49