By Daniel Magennis, M.A. Candidate, Queen’s University, Belfast
Thrillers which take Troubles-era Ireland as their subject matter form a distinct genre in their own right. The Troubles Thriller, or Troubles Trash, as it is sometimes known, has become the primary form of literary representation of Northern Ireland and its benighted capital Belfast (which has itself been described as “the noirest city on earth”). While the novels might be didactically unremarkable and have done little to challenge the tabloid representations on offer, some met with considerable commercial success both within and outside of the English-speaking world.
The Penguin operation in America was started in 1939, four years after the successful launch of Penguin in Britain. The collection retained the green colour code for crime Fiction books which had characterised the British covers since the 1935 publication of Penguin no. 5 (the first crime published in the collection, Dorothy L Sayers’s The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club). But the American market was not prepared for the sobriety of the non illustrated British covers. The illustrations make the American covers instantly recognisable. Continue reading
To see the program of the conference on the origins of Crime Fiction in France and Italy (Aix-en-Provence, March 23, 2015) Continue reading