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New Haven Noir

Edited by:

Amy Bloom masterfully curates a star-studded cast of contributors, including Michael Cunningham, Stephen L. Carter, and Roxana Robinson, to portray the city’s underbelly.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

Lisa D. Gray has been named the recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for her story, “The Queen of Secrets”!

John Crowley’s “Spring Break” has won the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Short Story!

“Town-gown tensions highlight several of the 15 stories in this stellar Akashic noir anthology set in the Elm City . . . This [volume] is particularly strong on established authors, many of whom have impressive credentials outside the genre.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In an Ivy League town, Bloom turns Yale’s motto—Lux et Veritas—on its head, finding darkness and deceit in every corner of New Haven . . . The stories Bloom chooses share a strong sense of place, detailing the quirks that make every corner of New Haven distinctive. But it’s the lucid writing and clear, compelling storylines that make her dark tales shine. Maybe she offers a noir version of Light and Truth after all.”
Kirkus Reviews

“New Haven may be best known for Yale University, but its criminal dimensions run as deep as anywhere else on the Eastern Seaboard. Contributors include Stephen L. Carter, Chris Knopf, Karen E. Olson, and Jessica Speart.”
Publishers Weekly

“[It’s] a kick to see Elm City haunts and issues weaved into short stories of intrigue by writers who know the turf.”
New Haven Register

“Fifteen writers, many from Connecticut, including Bloom, have contributed stories to the book. Some stories are classic film noir-style, in which an unscrupulous woman leads a desirous man to his own destruction. Some tell stories of criminal youths meeting someone they underestimated, undermining their cocky street-smarts. Other stories tell of Yalies whose sophisticated exteriors hide a seething hunger for recognition. A few stories go full-on eerie, such as the shy catalog artist who is not the person he seems to be, and the unseen man in Room 11 of the Duncan Hotel, whose daily activities are a mystery to the hotel staff. Town vs. gown tensions pop up in several stories, as do dark narratives reflecting the city’s history of racial tensions.”
Hartford Courant

“The anthology brings together writers who take varied approaches to the idea of noir in the Elm City. Some stories are historical, some are contemporary. All the classic New Haven landmarks are there, including plenty of Yale. But there’s also the more obscure — and maybe more interesting — parts of the city where the tourists don’t typically go: Long Wharf, Lighthouse Point Park, Dixwell Avenue, the Food Terminal Plaza, and so on. The full sweep of New Haven’s character is on display in the anthology.”
Connecticut Magazine

“A strong and highly enjoyable collection of diverse noir stories that truly give the reader a vibe for the City of New Haven. Get it for yourself or for the Yalie in your life.”
Wildmoo Books

“Fifteen of New Haven’s literary lights have put ink to paper (or bytes to screen?) to summon that “noir” city of the imagination that lurks just below the rapidly gentrifying surface.”
New Haven Independent

“A star-studded cast of contributors curated by Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing Amy Bloom fill the pages of New Haven Noir, featuring original stories from Michael Cunningham, Stephen Carter, Roxana Robinson, Assistant Professor of English Hirsh Sawhney and many others.”
Wesleyan University Newsletter


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking 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. Amy Bloom masterfully curates a star-studded cast of contributors, including Michael Cunningham, Stephen L. Carter, and Roxana Robinson, to portray the city’s underbelly.

Brand-new stories by: Michael Cunningham, Roxana Robinson, Stephen L. Carter, John Crowley, Amy Bloom, Alice Mattison, Chris Knopf, Jonathan Stone, Sarah Pemberton Strong, Karen E. Olson, Jessica Speart, Chandra Prasad, David Rich, Lisa D. Gray, and Hirsh Sawhney.

From editor Amy Bloom:

New Haven may be a noir town but, even though noir usually manages not to, we have heart. The chance to bring together some of my favorite writers, in my adopted hometown (in every place I bartended, the cook or the manager carried a .38 in his waistband, and I can still make ten kinds of boilermakers), was a joy and a privilege. Every single story is a noir gem . . . If you are an optimist, noir may be an antidote, a crisp, dry balance for your sunny outlook. If you are a pessimist (or, as we say, a realist), noir is your home ground, your tribe. It’s not just that you expect ant to come to the picnic; you know damned well that there will be ants at the picnic. When they come, you’re relieved. When they crawl up your brother’s leg, you’re reassured and possibly delighted. But the other side of noir is the moral center. Te center may be shabby, frayed, and in serious need of a facelift, but it is a center. It’s not necessarily heroic. It’s likely to be cynical, and its resilience is not the showy kind. Mean streets , as Raymond Chandler once said, but not mean.

That’s New Haven.

Read about the release of New Haven Noir in the Portsmouth Review.

Read an interview with New Haven Noir editor Amy Bloom and contributor Hirsh Sawhney over at the New Haven Register.

Read an excerpt of Amy Bloom, Roxana Robinson, and Sarah Pemberton Strong‘s New Haven Noir stories at the Daily Nutmeg.

Read Amy Bloom’s interview with the Daily Nutmeg here, and listen to Amy Bloom discuss New Haven Noir on WNPR’s The Colin McEnroe Show.

Listen to New Haven Noir contributors Hirsh Sawhney and Alice Mattison’s interview with Dateline New Haven.

Table of Contents


Part I: Skull & Bones
“Crossing Harry” by Chris Knopf (Union Station)
“Callback” by Sarah Pemberton Strong (Audubon Arts District)
“A Woe for Every Season” by Hirsh Sawhney (Dwight)
“Sure Thing” by David Rich (Long Wharf)
“I’ve Never Been to Paris” by Amy Bloom (East Rock)

Part II: Down and Out In Elm City
“The Secret Societies” by Roxana Robinson (Beinecke Library)
“The Boy” by Karen E. Olson (Fair Haven)
“Evening Prayer by Stephen L. Carter (Dixwell Avenue)
“Second Act” by Jessica Speart (Food Terminal Plaza)
“The Gauntlet” by Jonathan Stone (Edgewood Avenue)

Part III: Death or Glory
“Innovative Methods” by Alice Mattison (Lighthouse Point Park)
“Spring Break” by John Crowley (Yale University)
“Silhouettes” by Chandra Prasad (Wooster Square)
“The Man in Room Eleven” by Michael Cunningham (Chapel Street)
“The Queen of Secrets” by Lisa D. Gray (Bradley Street)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 8/1/17
  • IBSN: 9781617755415
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755576


AMY BLOOM is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories, a children’s book, and a collection of essays. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She is the editor of New Haven Noir.

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