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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2023
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Book description

Contributing to the growing debate around the definition of Mediterranean noir, Barbara Pezzotti's groundbreaking study is the first in English to propose a rigorous classification of Mediterranean crime fiction. Intersecting crime fiction studies and Mediterranean studies, this interdisciplinary book provides a coherent and stringent definition in which the Mediterranean setting is not in the background, but is a meaningful arena where transnational space, globalisation and environmental issues are discussed; questions of regional, national and transcultural identity are investigated; and the themes of gender and violence are tackled. Pezzotti offers new ways of reading established crime novelists, such as Andrea Camilleri, Jean-Claude Izzo and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, alongside less well-known writers. To date, no other book-length study has taken a transnational and transcultural approach to these authors, and here Pezzotti invites us to consider the wider Mediterranean dimensions of their crime narratives, beyond their national contexts.


‘Cleverly balancing a regional perspective with a view of crime fiction as a global phenomenon, Mediterranean Crime Fiction opens up new paths to the study of this poly-systemic genre. Barbara Pezzotti successfully explores the facets of this vibrant literary field thanks to a transnational and transcultural approach that proves as theoretically savvy as it is genuinely energised by critical curiosity. The result is a volume that bridges the gap between opposite shores, refreshing our sense both of Mediterranean connections and of crime fiction’s potential as a mirror of our times.’

Maurizio Ascari - Professor of English Literature, University of Bologna

‘A brilliantly imagined and wonderfully written examination of what makes the “Mediterranean” in Mediterranean crime fiction – its heady mix of identities, cultures, and histories that transports us from Marseilles to Tel Aviv, Istanbul to Algiers – and a landmark work of crime fiction criticism that unpicks the familiar assumptions of both nation and globe.’

Andrew Pepper - Professor of English, Queen’s University Belfast

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