Page 203 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Identity in Detective Fiction
sic and bad music.” Certainly not all the literature that has been
suggested here is good literature, but much of it is. (Accompanying
this article there is an annotated bibliography for further guid­
ance.) Certainly much of it can be distinguished from bad litera­
ture. This writer has tried to spare you a great deal of the latter and
hopes he has given you, the reader, enough encouragement to en­
gage these writers for yourself.
A s - s im - i - la - t io n
The cultural absorption o f a minority group into the
main cultural body.
In this context, the Jewish characters in the following novels are, in a
sense, “accidentally”Jewish.
, L
-A Trouble ofFools.
New York: Fawcett, 1987
The Snake Tattoo.
New York: Fawcett, 1989
New York: Dell, 1990.
Steel Guitar.
New York: Dell, 1993
Barnes has created a street-tough Boston-area cabbie (Carlotta
Caryle) who has aJewish mother and non-Jewish father, and spices her
dialogue with memories and “yiddishisms” from her Jewish grand­
mother. A wonderfully assertive and likeable private eye.
, M
The Belfast Connection.
New York: New American Library, 1988
A San Diego Homicide Detective (Benny Freedman), who had a
Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mother, decides to connect with his
Irish family in Belfast. What follows is a rather tedious tale caught up
in the bloody fight between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ire­
land. Apparendy Benny’s San Diego life is portrayed in the three pre­
vious novels. I hope to find them soon.
, P
Squeeze Play.
New York: Penguin, 1982
Apparendy Benjamin is Paul Auster’s pen name and here he has cre­
ated an interesting private investigator who was a major-league base­
ball player (Paul Benjamin) and now investigates a seamy part of New
York city.