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Abstract

In her paper, "Corpi, Murakami, and Contemporary Hardboiled Fiction," Cathy Steblyk discusses comparatively texts by contemporary detective fiction writers, one an ethnic-minority US-American and the other Japanese. Steblyk proposes that in detective fiction since the late 1980s, morally or ethically contestable sites of history have been given a postmortem by contemporary authors who are interested in restoring the lost parts of cultural histories. Detective fictions by feminist US-Chicana author Lucha Corpi and Japanese writer Murakami Haruki show how recent fiction from around the globe uses the hardboiled genre for the purposes of exploring past injustices and offering revisionist histories. The authors isolate crimes of mis-representation, interpret "historical fact" both analytically and empathetically, and act as a social vehicle of change. Steblyk finds that these recent detective fictions suggest, in an unexpectedly modernist way, a review of historical cultural narratives in order to redress history. By using the elements of the hardboiled in part against itself -- similar to other recent neo-modernist authors of hardboiled fiction -- Corpi's and Murakami's texts offer a metacritical commentary on detection in order to show how knowledge (crime) is produced. By placing themselves self-consciously in text, these contemporary fictions open up narratives and retrieve other bodies lost to certain legitimated, patriarchal, imperialist, cultural, or social histories.

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