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New Jersey Noir

Edited by:

Jonathan Safran Foer and Robert Pinsky join Joyce Carol Oates and other illustrious writers to sift through the hidden dirt of the Garden State.

*While supplies last, books ordered through the website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Joyce Carol Oates!

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Lou Manfredo’s story “Soul Anatomy” was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2012

“This anthology is a collection of stories from all around New Jersey and is a representation of the richness of experiences with a twist: It’s not all glass skyscrapers and clouds. This anthology gives voice to stories that don’t make polite society, as most of us urban Jersey kids wouldn’t. It’s a thrilling read that brings shadows to life.”
NPR, Book Picks for All 50 States

“Oates’s introduction to Akashic’s noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book . . . Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others—plus photos by Gerald Slota—enhance this distinguished entry.”
Publishers Weekly

“It was inevitable that this fine noir series would reach New Jersey. It took longer than some readers might have wanted, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait . . . More than most of the entries in the series, this volume is about mood and atmosphere more than it is about plot and character . . . It should go without saying that regular readers of the noir series will seek this one out, but beyond that, the book also serves as a very good introduction to what is a popular but often misunderstood term and style of writing.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A lovingly collected assortment of tales and poems that range from the disturbing to the darkly humorous.”
Shelf Awareness

“What makes this edition such a strong example of the noir aesthetic is the vividly imagined settings and situations that it finds for all its dark doings. There isn’t a story in New Jersey Noir that doesn’t grab and hold your attention.”
Brooklyn Based


Read “Live for Today” by S.A. Solomon, featured as part of Akashic’s celebration of Short Story Month 2013.

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 (and a few poems) by: Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Safran Foer, Robert Pinsky, Edmund White & Michael Carroll, Richard Burgin, Paul Muldoon, Sheila Kohler, C.K. Williams, Gerald Stern, Lou Manfredo, S.A. Solomon, Bradford Morrow, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffrey Ford, S.J. Rozan, Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini, Hirsh Sawhney, and Robert Arellano.

From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:

New Jersey!—’The Garden State’—our fifth smallest state, with only Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island below it in land mass, yet it’s the state containing the ‘most murderous’ American city (Camden) and the state generally conceded to be, square mile per square mile, the most densely politically corrupt. (Louisiana has been, by tradition, the most corrupt of all US states, but in recent years Illinois has been closing the lead.) Atlantic City, Jersey City, Hackensack, Hoboken, Secaucus, Newark, Camden (three recent Camden mayors have been jailed for corruption)—in these cities as in others corruption isn’t aberrant but rather a way of (political) life . . .

Sitting between the great cities of New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey has been by tradition a heavily ‘organized’ Mafia state, as it was at one time a northern outpost of the Ku Klux Klan, with a concentration of members in Trenton, Camden, Monmouth County, and South Jersey . . . In such ways, the most civilized and ‘decent’ among us find that we are complicit with the most brutal murderers. We enter into literally unspeakable alliances—of which we dare not speak except through the obliquities and indirections of fiction, poetry, and visual art of the sort gathered here in New Jersey Noir.”

Table of Contents


Part I: Inner-City New Jersey
“Live for Today” by S.A. Solomon (University Heights, Newark)
“Soul Anatomy” by Lou Manfredo (Whitman Park, Camden)
“New Day Newark” by S.J. Rozan (Central Ward, Newark)
“Newark Black: 1940-1954” by C.K. Williams (Vailsburg, Newark)

Part II: Romance & Nostalgia
“Lola” by Jonathan Santlofer (Hoboken)
“The Enigma of Grover’s Mill” by Bradford Morrow (Grover’s Mill)
“Broken Glass” by Gerald Stern (Mickle Street, Camden)
“Wunderlich” by Sheila Kohler (Montclair)
“Atlantis” by Richard Burgin (Atlantic City)
“August: Feeding Frenzy” by Alicia Ostriker (Jersey Shore)

Part III: Commerce & Retribution
“A Bag for Nicholas” by Hirsh Sawhney (Jersey City)
“Glass Eels” by Jeffrey Ford (Dividing Creek)
“Meadowlands Spike” by Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini (Rutherford)
“Kettle Run” by Robert Arellano (Cherry Hill)
“Noir, NJ” by Paul Muldoon (Paramus)

Part IV: Garden State Underground
“Too Near Real” by Jonathan Safran Foer (Princeton)
“Excavation” by Edmund White & Michael Carroll (Asbury Park)
“Long Branch Underground” by Robert Pinsky (Long Branch)
“Run Kiss Daddy” by Joyce Carol Oates (Kittatinny Mountains)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Published: 11/1/11
  • IBSN: 9781617750267
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750816
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617750342


JOYCE CAROL OATES is the author of many works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. She is the editor of New Jersey Noir, Prison Noir, A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers, and Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers. Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award, PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Humanities Medal, and a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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