Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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Paris Noir: The Suburbs

Edited by:

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.

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$16.95 $12.71

What people are saying…

“A treasure chest of resources for any noir author seeking a more gruesome approach or a more relentless destruction of the soul. One might hope the real Paris suburbs are not so dark and blood drenched. But by the end of the collection, that hope seems almost foolish, and the body found on the quay seems to be the lucky guy in the story.”
New York Journal of Books

One of CrimeReads‘s 10 New Books for the Week of February 1, 2022

“The newest addition to the simply outstanding Akashic Noir series, Paris Noir: The Suburbs showcases memorable and literate short stories by some of the best writer’s in the noir thriller/mystery genre that France has ever produced.”
Midwest Book Review

“Dark tales shine a bright light on some little-seen parts of greater Paris.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Paris’s suburbs—a mix of slums, posh neighborhoods, fading industrial centers, and the city’s notorious housing projects that lie out of the sight of most tourists—provide the setting for [these] 13 tales.”
Publishers Weekly

“The short stories center on the suburbs of Paris, fertile soil for all sorts of resentment and violence. . . .For lovers of crime noir short fiction, these are 12 stories of life lived in the raw.”
Library Journal


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.

Featuring 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. (All stories were written in French and translated into English by Katie Shireen Assef, David Ball, Nicole Ball, and Paul Curtis Daw.)

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. 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 bloc, nor is it reducible to a cliché like “the suburban ring” . . . Here are thirteen 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
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • IBSN: 9781636140773


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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