Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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DC Noir

Edited by:

Mystery sensation Pelecanos pens the lead story and edits this groundbreaking collection of stories detailing the seedy underside of the nation’s capital.

$16.95 $12.71

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“From the Chevy Chase housewife who commits a shocking act to the watchful bum protecting Georgetown street vendors, the tome offers a startling glimpse into the cityscape’s darkest corners . . . Fans of the [noir] genre will find solid writing, palpable tension and surprise endings.”
Washington Post

“Every story in this all-original noir anthology set in the nation’s capital is well-written.”
Publishers Weekly

“Imbued with countless collective years of local experience.”
Washington City Paper

“[Pelecanos] has assembled a compelling mix of ex-convicts, retired police officers, former crime beat reporters and a few writing pros willing to turn their storytelling eye, whether jaundiced or tender, inward toward the neighborhood . . . Local haunts and hangouts are lovingly drawn.”
Washington Times

“Pick up a copy of the book D.C. Noir . . . and prepare to be transported to a different D.C. that the tourists see . . . Pure Washingtonian.”

“Those looking for redemption in humanity would do well to look elsewhere, but this set of gritty urban tales, written with all the requisite touches of shadow and fog of the noir masters, is a rare cut for crime aficionados and should pique the interest of anyone who calls the Dark City home.”
Examiner Washington


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, James Grady, Kenji Jasper, Jim Beane, Ruben Castaneda, Jim Patton, Robert Wisdom, Norman Kelley, Jennifer Howard, Jim Fusilli, Richard Currey, Lester Irby, Quintin Peterson, Robert Andrews, and David Slater.

From the introduction by George Pelecanos:

It’s about the collective memories of the locals, and also about the voices. If you close your eyes and listen to the people of this city, you will hear the many different voices . . .

We have tried to explore every quadrant of the city and many of the neighborhoods within them, and have not forgotten the federal city and downtown. We have enlisted the well-known and the someday-will-be. The writers include lifelong Washingtonians, imports and exports, a gentleman who was incarcerated when he wrote his story, a police officer, an actor, bloggers, journalists, blacks, whites, Hispanics, males and females, and yeah, even a Greek American.

Table of Contents


Part I: DC Uncovered
“The Confidential Informant” by George Pelecanos (Park View, NW)
“First” by Kenji Jasper (Benning Heights, SE)
“Capital of the World” by Jim Patton (Chinatown, NW)
“The Names of the Lost” by Richard Currey (Shepherd Park, NW)

Part II: Streets & Alleys
“East of the Sun” by Jennifer Howard (Hill East, SE)
“Solomon’s Alley” by Robert Andrews (Georgetown, NW)
“The Light and the Dark” by Robert Wisdom (Petworth, NW)
“A.R.M. and the Woman” by Laura Lippman (Chevy Chase, NW)

Part III: Cops & Robbers
“Cold as Ice” by Quintin Peterson (Congress Heights, SE/SW)
“God Don’t Like Ugly” by Lester Irby (Edgewood, NE)
“Coyote Hunt” by Ruben Castaneda (Mount Pleasant, NW)
“Jeanette” by Jim Beane (Deanwood, NE)

Part IV: The Hill & The Edge
“The Bottom Line” by James Grady (Capitol Hill, NE/SE)
“Stiffed” by David Slater (Thomas Circle, NW)
“The Messanger of Soulsville” by Norman Kelley (Shaw, NW)
“The Dupe” by Jim Fusilli (K Street, NW)


Book Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Published: 2/1/06
  • IBSN: 9781888451900
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070251


GEORGE PELECANOS is the author of twenty-two novels and story collections set in and around Washington, DC, and has been the recipient of numerous international writing awards. He is a screenwriter, essayist, and television writer/producer whose credits include The Wire, Treme, The Deuce, and We Own This City. He is the editor of the best-selling volumes DC Noir and DC Noir 2: The Classics. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Buster: A Dog is his latest novel.

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