Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Seven California crime novels with a nuanced take on race, class, gender & community

Sara Sligar is an author and academic based in Los Angeles, where she teaches English and creative writing as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in History from the University of Cambridge. Her writing has been published in McSweeney’s, Quartz, The Hairpin, and other outlets.

Take Me Apart is her first novel.

At CrimeReads Sligar tagged seven "books [that] offer some moments of sun-kissed glamour that play into California fantasies—but they also represent an important move toward a more textured, nuanced view of the Golden State." One title on the list:
Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay

Steph Cha’s widely acclaimed Your House Will Pay focuses on one of the most formative periods in L.A.’s recent history, the 1992 L.A. riots. As Cha moves between two narrators—an African-American man who lost a loved one in 1992 and a Korean-American woman looking into her family’s mysterious history—she explores interracial tensions and intergenerational trauma with impressive nuance. (If you’ve already read Your House Will Pay, try jumping to Cha’s backlist. Her Juniper Song series follows a would-be private investigator around Los Angeles, offering a perfect update to the tropes of L.A. noir.)
Read about the other entries on the list.

Your House Will Pay is among Karen Dietrich's eight top red herrings in contemporary crime fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue