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Oakland Noir

Edited by: and

California’s noir quotient continues to rise with Oakland Noir, which reveals all the dark complexities of this increasingly prominent city.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

“San Francisco’s grittier next-door neighbor gets her day in the sun in 16 new stories in this tightly curated entry in Akashic’s Noir series. The hardscrabble streets of Oakland offer crime aplenty . . . Thompson and Muller have taken such pains to choose stories highlighting Oakland’s diversity and history that the result is a volume rich in local culture as well as crime.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The legendarily tough California city of Oakland finally gets an entry in the Akashic noir series.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wonderfully, in Akashic’s Oakland Noir, the stereotypes about the city suffer the fate of your average noir character — they die brutally. Kudos to the editors, Jerry Thompson and Eddie Muller, for getting Oakland right. All those outsize statistics don’t reveal a real city, but this collection of local voices — both established and new — brings it thrumming to life . . . Readers who know the city will relish its sense of place, and those who only know the stereotypes will be in for a pleasing eye-opener.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“From the Oakland hills to the heart of downtown, each story brings Oakland to life.”
The Mercury News

“Oakland is a natural for the series, with its shadowy crimes and disgruntled cops.”
Zoom Street Magazine


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: Nick Petrulakis, Kim Addonizio, Keenan Norris, Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder, Katie Gilmartin, Dorothy Lazard, Harry Louis Williams II, Carolyn Alexander, Phil Canalin, Judy Juanita, Jamie DeWolf, Nayomi Munaweera, Mahmud Rahman, Tom McElravey, Joe Loya, and Eddie Muller.

In the wake of San Francisco Noir, Los Angeles Noir, and Orange County Noir—all popular volumes in the Akashic Noir Series—comes the latest California installment, Oakland Noir. Masterfully curated by Jerry Thompson and Eddie Muller (the “Czar of Noir”), this volume will shock, titillate, provoke, and entertain. The diverse cast of talented contributors will not disappoint.

From the introduction:

Jerry Thompson: Discovering the wang-dang-doodle jams of the Pointer Sisters shifted my entire focus. Stunning black women were scatting and bebopping all the way into my soul. I think what we’ve put together in Oakland Noir is a volume where this city is a character in every story. He’s a slick brother strutting over a bacon-grease bass line and tambourine duet. She’s a white chick with a bucket of hot muffins heading to farmer and flea markets, to sell crafts and get hooked up with some fine kat with dreadlocks and a criminal record. And it’s in the faces of young fearless muthafuckers pounding keyboards and snapping fingers, lips, Snapchats, and Facebook timelines. It’s the core of not only Black Lives Matter but all lives matter. We are the children of fantasy and of the funk . . .

Eddie Muller: These days, writers and readers aren’t denying the darker parts of our existence as much as they used to, especially in crime fiction. Some writers just do it for fun, because it’s become the fashionable way to get published. You know, “gritty violence” and all that bullshit. The genuine darkness in noir stories comes from two places—the cruelty of the world’s innate indifference, and the cruelty that people foster within themselves. If you’re not seriously dealing with one, the other, or both, then you’re not really writing noir.

Watch an interview with editors Jerry Thompson and Eddie Muller on Bay Area Focus.

Read an event preview for Oakland Noir via SF Gate.

Listen to an interview with editors Jerry Thompson and Eddie Muller on KALW San Francisco’s Crosscurrents.

Read an interview with Eddie Muller on the Huffington Post.

Table of Contents


Part I: Not A Soft City
“The Bridge Tender” by Nick Petrulakis (Fruitvale Bridge)
“The Wishing Well” by Kim Addonizio (Pill Hill)
“A Murder of Saviors” by Keenan Norris (Toler Heights)
“Divine Singularity” by Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder (Piedmont Avenue)
“White Horse” by Katie Gilmartin (Bushrod Park)

Part II: What They Call A Clusterfuck
“A Town Made of Hustle” by Dorothy Lazard (Downtown)
“The Streets Don’t Love Nobody” by Harry Louis Williams II (Brookfield Village)
“Bulletproof” by Carolyn Alexander (McClymonds)
“The Three Stooges” by Phil Canalin (Sausal Creek)
“Cabbie” by Judy Juanita (Eastmont)
“Two to Tango” by Jamie DeWolf (Oakland Hills)

Part III: A View of The Lake
“Survivors of Heartache” by Nayomi Munaweera (Montclair)
“Prophets and Spies” by Mahmud Rahman (Mills College)
“Black and Borax” by Tom McElravey (Haddon Hill)
“Waiting for Gordo” by Joe Loya (Hegenberger Road)
“The Handyman” by Eddie Muller (Alameda)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Published: 4/4/17
  • IBSN: 9781617755309
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755583


EDDIE MULLER, a.k.a. the “Czar of Noir,” has been nominated for several Edgar and Anthony awards, and his novel The Distance won a Shamus Award. He produces the San Francisco Noir City Film Festival, the largest annual film noir retrospective in the world, and is a frequent host on Turner Classic Movies. He is the coeditor of Oakland Noir.

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JERRY THOMPSON is a bookseller, poet, playwright, and musician. His work has appeared in ZYZZYVA and the James White Review. He is the coauthor of Images of America: Black Artists in Oakland. His fiction and prose have appeared in various anthologies including Voices Rising, edited by G. Winston James, and Freedom in this Village: Twenty-Five Years of Black Gay Men’s Writing, edited by E. Lynn Harris. He is the coeditor of both Oakland Noir and the forthcoming Berkeley Noir.

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