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Pimping Fictions

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The first literary and cultural history of African American crime literature, unveiling the untold story of black pulp publishing since the Civil Rights era

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1 "He Jerked His Pistol Free and Fired It at the Pavement": Chester Himes and the Transformation of American Crime Literature 2 Pimping Fictions: Iceberg Slim and the Invention of Pimp Literature 3 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Donald Goines, Holloway House Publishing Company, and the Radicalization of Black Crime Literature 4 Black in a White Paradise: Utopias and Imagined Solutions in Black Crime Literature 5 "For He Who Is": Players Magazine and the Reimagining of the American Pimp 6 The Women of Street Literature: Contemporary Black Crime Fiction and the Rise of the Self-Publishing Marketplace Notes Index

About the Author

Justin D. Gifford is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.


"Gifford's groundbreaking study of the 'art and business of black crime literature' is ingenious in its embrace of elements of street literature from historical and literary perspectives along with the culture of the writers who produce it, the commercial enterprises that publish it, and the 'white-controlled spaces' they occupy and must negotiate... In exploring how these writers, little noticed by academia or mainstream media, negotiate the connection between white-controlled spaces in urban centers, prisons, and publishing, Gifford makes a persuasive case for their importance." Publishers Weekly, December 2012 "Gifford aims to inject greater awareness of black crime fiction into the history of African American cultural production, and his analyses of Chester Himes, Robert Beck, Donald Goines, and Players magazine fulfill that ambition. His book clarifies this popular yet understudied topic... Summing Up: Recommended."--Choice, August 2013

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