Chicano Detective Fiction

A Critical Study of Five Novelists


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About the Book

In his 1985 novel Partners in Crime, writer Rolando Hinojosa introduced homicide investigator Rafe Buenrostro, the first Chicano protagonist in one of the most enduring genres of modern literature. Since that time, Chicano writers have embraced the detective novel, successfully diversifying and refining a traditional Anglo American and British genre.
The 21 whodunits of Hinojosa, Rudolfo Anaya, Lucha Corpi, Michael Nava and Manuel Ramos are closely studied in this groundbreaking work. The models, both contemporary and Romantic, of this relatively new Chicano genre are first discussed. Next come detailed analysis and reviews of such novels as Shaman Winter, Partners in Crime, Cactus Blood and 18 others, focusing on how each writer departs from contemporary detective genre formula, uniquely rendering a particular regional or cultural variation of what it means to be Chicano. It is this departure from the norm that defines these writings and distinguishes them from the Anglo American and British whodunit. Interviews with the writers conclude the work.

About the Author(s)

Currently working on a novel, Susan Baker Sotelo is a Spanish teacher in Tucson, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

Susan Baker Sotelo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 235
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2185-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8237-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Chicano Romance: Histories and Mythologization      17
2. The Shaman Sleuth: Rudolfo Anaya’s Shaman Winter      31
3. The Lieutenant and the Chevalier, Buenrostro and Dupin: Rolando Hinojosa’s Partners in Crime      55
4. Poetry in Action: Lucha Corpi’s Cactus Blood      78
5. Breaking the Macho Mold: Manuel Ramos      108
6. Marginalization in Aztlán: Michael Nava’s Gay Detective      123
7. More Salsa: Latino Detective Fiction in the United States; and Interviews with the Chicano Chefs Anaya, Corpi, Hinojosa, Nava and Ramos      149
8. Identity: Is a Wrap a Taco or Is a Taco a Wrap?      183

Chapter Notes      207
Bibliography      211
Index      221