Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Richmond Noir

Edited by: , and

The River City emerges as a hot spot for unseemly noir as life, death, and American history mix together into a frightening Southern cocktail.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:


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: Dean King, Laura Browder, Howard Owen, Yazmina Beverly, Tom De Haven, X.C. Atkins, Meagan J. Saunders, Anne Thomas Soffee, Clint McCown, Conrad Ashley Persons, Clay McLeod Chapman, Pir Rothenberg, David L. Robbins, Hermine Pinson, and Dennis Danvers, with a foreword by Tom Robbins.

From the introduction by Andrew Blossom, Brian Castleberry & Tom De Haven:

In The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller tosses off a hard-bitten assessment of the City on the James: ‘I would rather die in Richmond somehow,’ he writes, ‘though God knows Richmond has little enough to offer.’ As editors, we like the dying part, and might point out that in its long history, Richmond, Virginia has offered up many of the disparate elements crucial to meaty noir. The city was born amid deception, conspiracy, and violence . . .

Richmond has seen everything America has to offer, and has at times stood for its worst, darkest bits . . . It’s also a hell of a place to live. We, the editors and authors, love this city. Try standing on a rock in the middle of the James River as the evening sun lights up the tinny but somehow magnificent buildings of downtown. You’ll see. It’s quite a sight. When you accept a city not only for its strengths but also for its weaknesses, when you realize that the combination of the two is what gives the place true beauty—when, indeed, you recognize that the combination might also make for some very good storytelling—well, that’s love. We love Richmond, Virginia. We hope you like it too.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tom Robbins


Part I: Nevermore
“The Rose Red Vial” by Pir Rothenberg (Museum District)
“Homework” by David L. Robbins (East End)
“Gaia” by Mina Beverly (Providence Park)
“Texas Beach” by Dennis Danvers (Texas Beach)

Part II: Numbers
“The Battle of Belle Isle” by Clay McLeod Chapman (Belle Isle)
“A Late-Night Fishing Trip” by X.C. Atkins (Oregon Hill)
“The Heart Is a Strange Muscle” by Laura Browder (Church Hill)
“The Fall Lines” by Dean King (Shockoe Slip)

Part III: Neurosis
“Playing with DaBlonde” by Tom De Haven (Manchester)
“Midnight at the Oasis” by Anne Thomas Soffee (Jefferson Davis Highway)
“Untitled” by Meagan J. Saunders (Jackson Ward)
“Marco’s Broken English” by Conrad Ashley Persons (West End)

Part IV: Nonsuch
“The Thirteenth Floor” by Howard Owen (Monroe Park)
“Mr. Not” by Hermine Pinson (Devil’s Half Acre)
“The Apprentice” by Clint McCown (Hollywood Cemetery)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Published: 3/1/10
  • IBSN: 9781933354989
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070770


ANDREW BLOSSOM is the founding editor of Makeout Creek and the coeditor of Richmond Noir. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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BRIAN CASTLEBERRY has worked as a cook, a dishwasher, a teacher, a carnie, a shoe salesman, a receptionist, and a waiter. He is the coeditor of Richmond Noir and lives in Virginia with his wife and their two dogs.

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TOM DE HAVEN is the author of seventeen books, including Freaks’ Amour, Sunburn Lake, It’s Superman! and the Derby Dugan trilogy of novels. He is the coeditor of Richmond Noir.

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