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Houston Noir

Edited by:

The fourth-largest city in the US is long overdue to enter the Noir Series arena, and does so blazingly.

Forthcoming: 5/7/19

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“Zepeda’s introduction notes her hometown’s unique features, including the absence of any zoning laws, making Houston ‘culturally diverse, internally incongruous, and ever-changing’ . . . Noir aficionados will be pleased.”
Publishers Weekly

“There’s precious little comfort to be found in any of these Houston neighborhoods, most of which are set light-years away from the city’s notoriously cushy new-money culture . . . Houston comes across as a haven of multiculturalism—though, as in all the 90-plus volumes of Akashic’s 15-year-old series, the vision of the city that emerges isn’t likely to jump-start tourism for any but the most ghoulishly inclined.”
Kirkus Reviews

Houston Noir has arrived, an ode to the grime, grit and glamour of Texas’s largest, most fascinating (and, to be fair, probably ugliest) city. Houston is unique in Texas history in that it’s a large, multicultural port city that has never had zoning laws. While that can mean oil refineries located right next to schools, it can also mean—and does mean—one of the least segregated cities in the United States, which, combined with urban sprawl, means every kind of story, in every kind of combination, is up for grabs as a Houston story. We can’t wait to see all the different visions of this complex town!”
CrimeReads, Included in the Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019


Description

Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.

Brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

From the introduction by Gwendolyn Zepeda:

In a 2004 essay, Hunter S. Thompson described Houston as a “cruel, crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It’s a shabby, sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West—which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.” For what it’s worth, that quote is now posted on a banner somewhere downtown and regularly, gleefully repeated by our local feature writers.

Houston is a port city on top of a swamp and, yes, it has no zoning laws. And that means it’s culturally diverse, internally incongruous, and ever-changing. At any intersection here, I might look out my car window and see a horse idly munching St. Augustine grass. And, within spitting distance of that horse, I might see a “spa” that’s an obvious brothel, a house turned drug den, or a swiftly rising bayou that might overtake a car if the rain doesn’t let up . . . Overall, this collection represents the very worst our city has to offer, for residents and visitors alike. But it also presents some of our best voices, veteran and emerging, to any reader lucky enough to pick up this book.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Published: 5/7/19
  • IBSN: 9781617757068
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757235

Author

GWENDOLYN ZEPEDA has published three novels, one short story collection, two poetry collections, and five children’s books. She served as Houston’s first poet laureate from 2013 to 2015. She is the editor of Houston Noir.

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