Classic reprints from: Edward P. Jones, George Pelecanos, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, James Grady, Julian Mayfield, Marita Golden, Elizabeth Hand, Julian Mazor, Ward Just, Jean Toomer, Roach Brown, Larry Neal, and others.
George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, a producer and an Emmy-nominated writer of the HBO series The Wire, and the author of fifteen novels set in and around Washington, DC. He is the editor of the best-selling first volume of D.C. Noir.
By broadly interpreting what constitutes noir, Pelecanos has been able to include writers as diverse as Langston Hughes and Ward Just in this high-quality reprint anthology. In his introduction, Pelecanos describes his vision of a century-long overview of D.C. fiction that would focus on issues of race, ethnicity, politics, class, and the attendant struggles and changes that occurred in various eras of our history. Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet, opens the book on a powerful note with A Council of State, a story of political intrigue first published in 1900 that will still resonate with contemporary readers. The equally powerful final selection, an excerpt from Marita Golden's novel After (2006), presents the agonizing moments just before and after a black police officer fatally shoots a fellow black man, who turns out to have been holding not a gun but a cellphone. Other contributors include Ross Thomas, Jean Toomer and Richard Wright.