Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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Paris Noir: The Suburbs

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Following the success of Paris Noir, the Akashic Noir Series has expanded to include the famously diverse and sometimes controversial suburbs of this legendary city, all stories translated from French.

Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before February 1, 2022.

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Forthcoming: 2/1/22

$16.95 $12.71


Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before February 1, 2022.

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: Cloé Mehdi, Karim Madani, Insa Sané, Christian Roux, Marc Villard, Jean-Pierre Rumeau, Timothée Demeillers, Rachid Santaki, Marc Fernandez, Guillaume Balsamo, Anne Secret, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, and Patrick Pécherot.

From the introduction by Hervé Delouche:

The term “Greater Paris” is in vogue today, for it has an administrative cachet and seems to denote a simple extension of the capital—as if a ravenous Paris need only extend her web. However, it was not our goal to embrace the tenets of the metro area’s comprehensive plan, aka the Grand Projet, envisioned as a future El Dorado by the planners and developers. Rather, our aim was to depict the Parisian suburbs in all their plurality and diversity, as illustrated by the stories in this collection. Without pretending to encompass every spot on the map, we instead opted to give voice and exposure to the localities chosen by the writers who have been part of this adventure. Thus, we decided to adopt the word “suburbs”—in the plural, obviously, for the periphery of the capital is not a homogeneous block, nor is it reducible to a cliché like “the suburban ring” . . .

In 1992, in the publication Gulliver, created by Michel Le Bris in the spirit of the Étonnants Voyageurs literary festival, the late Jean-Bernard Pouy, a longtime resident of Ivry, offered up a story, “Transports en particuliers,” in which he wrote, “And perhaps the love of the suburbs persists, thanks to those who knew them before, that is to say, before they became bedroom communities, when the smallish cities all around Paris still operated as the ‘Red Belt,’ preventing the huge, blubbery stomach of Paris from spilling over into the countryside. But it’s surely true that everyone now living there is in search of new myths and that the housing projects will inspire as many colorful tales as the detached homes or vacant tracts of yesteryear.” Here are thirteen such stories, decidedly noir, to be savored without sugar or sweetener.


Table of Contents


Part I: The Insulted and the Rebellious
“I Am Not Paris” by Cloé Mehdi (Fleury-Mérogis)
“The Morillon Houses” by Karim Madani (Montreuil)
“Seeing Is Believing” by Insa Sané (Sarcelles)
“The Metamorphosis of Emma F.” by Christian Roux (Mantes-la-Jolie)

Part II: Attempts at Escape
“Beneath the Périphérique” by Marc Villard (Saint-Ouen)
“The Donkey Cemetery” by Jean-Pierre Rumeau (Fontainebleau)
“Pantin, Really” by Timothée Demeillers (Pantin)

Part III: Scarfaces of the Suburbs
“To My Last Breath” by Rachid Santaki (Saint-Denis)
“The Baroness” by Marc Fernandez (Neuilly-sur-Seine)
“Men at Work: Date of Completion, February 2027” by Guillaume Balsamo (Ivry-sur-Seine)

Part IV: Ghosts from the Past
“The Shadows of the Trapèze” by Anne Secret (Boulogne-Billancourt)
“Strange Martyrs” by Anne-Sylvie Salzman (Arcueil)
“The Day Johnny Died” by Patrick Pécherot (Nanterre)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 2/1/22
  • IBSN: 9781617757556
  • e-IBSN: 9781617759918


HERVÉ DELOUCHE is a noir literature specialist, columnist, conference moderator, and noir festival coordinator. He was in charge of the full reissue of Jean Meckert’s work for Éditions Joëlle Losfeld, and he works as a copy editor for the French publishers Gallmeister, Rivages, and le Seuil. From 2007 to 2016 he was the president of 813, the first French association of noir literature lovers. He is the editor of Paris Noir: The Suburbs

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