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San Juan Noir (Puerto Rico)

Edited by:

Puerto Rico’s capital city enters the Noir Series arena, meticulously edited by one of San Juan’s best-known authors.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Santos-Febres and 13 other contributors of Puerto Rican heritage take full advantage of San Juan’s wide range of disparities between rich and poor, weak and powerful, tourists and residents, in this fine addition to Akashic’s noir anthology series.”
Publishers Weekly

““A welcomed addition to the publisher’s popular noir series, San Juan Noir has the distinction of being issued in two editions, English and Spanish, to more accurately reflect the Caribbean island’s bilingual culture. Editor Santos-Febres gathers a varied collection of stories she expects will ‘reveal a side of Puerto Rico otherwise obscured by the tourist trade and preconception.’”
NBC News Latino

“The stories within San Juan Noir stare right into the face of colonialism as they examine the gaps between the city’s rich and its poor, its residents and its constant flow of tourists, its colorful exterior and its gritty underbelly. This is noir with a bite, noir that enthralls with its dark tales even as it challenges the reader—do better, do better, do better.”
Literary Hub

“I have never been to San Juan, Puerto Rico, but I traveled some of its streets in these stories. Of course, the city is more than noir. That’s what I love about the Akashic Noir stories, these are not the Tourist Bureau stories of the city. They are gritty, sometimes nasty, sometimes gross, but always interesting.”
Tonstant Weader Reviews

“The stories in this anthology, unrelentingly dark, reflect the woes of the island . . . Set as it is in Puerto Rico, with authors steeped in the Latin tradition, the stories have a common thread of sexuality and sensuality, as well as magical realism. Dreams run through these stories, and sometimes a sense that the whole story could be a dream. They are unsettling stories, to say the least . . . After reading these stories, you may very well want to rethink that tropical vacation.”
Reviewing the Evidence

“From the interiors of sleazy bars or chic resort hotels, shabby apartments and in open streets and avenues with no escape, the tales of San Juan Noir trace the doomed routes of their victims and villains with an acute social and tragic awareness. These journeys keep the reader transfixed and understanding this Caribbean city in entirely new ways.”

San Juan Noir is a brilliantly polished literary gem that showcases life on the fringes of society. Every tale glows in its own darkness, piercingly tugging at the remnants of human decency. We must do better, it screams. Yes, we must. Highly recommended.”
Jamaica Gleaner


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: Wilfredo J. Burgos Matos, Ernesto Quiñonez, Mayra Santos-Febres, José Rabelo, Luis Negrón, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Ana María Fuster Lavín, Janette Becerra, Manolo Núñez Negrón, Tere Dávila, Edmaris Carazo, Alejandro Álvarez Nieves, Charlie Vázquez, and Manuel A. Meléndez. Translated by Will Vanderhyden.

Included in Essential Boricua Reading List for the 2016 Holiday Season

Read an interview with editor Mayra Santos-Febres at Latino Life.

Read a feature on San Juan Noir at SX Salon.

From the introduction by Mayra Santos-Febres:

“Puerto Rico is often portrayed as sandy beaches, casinos, luxury hotels, relaxation, and never-ending pleasure—a place that satisfies all senses and appetites.

Yet the city of San Juan is much more than that. The capital of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the oldest Spanish settlement in all the territories and colonies of the United States. Since Puerto Rico is economically dependent on the US, the financial downturn of 2008 hit us hard. Many Puerto Ricans have left the island, looking for a better life. Crime has risen and the black market has thrived. As in many crises, art, music, and literature have also flourished. Never before has there been so much literary production. We have responded to our crisis with many stories to tell. And, especially in these times, many of those stories are noir . . .

I hope these stories spark your imagination, and reveal a side of Puerto Rico otherwise obscured by the tourist trade and preconceptions. Maybe it will also pique your curiosity, and you will come visit our ‘pearl of the Caribbean.'”

Table of Contents


Part I: Fallen Angels
“Death on the Scaffold” by Janette Becerra (Santa Rita)
“Fish Food” by Manolo Núñez Negrón (Callejón del Gámbaro)
“The Infamy of Chin Fernández” by Tere Dávila (Barrio Obrero)
“Two Deaths for Ángela” by Ana María Fuster Lavín (Plaza del Mercado)
“Matchmaking” by Mayra Santos-Febres (Buen Consejo)

Part II: Crazy Love
“Dog Killer” by Luis Negrón (Trastalleres)
“Saint Michael’s Sword” by Wilfredo J. Burgos Matos (Río Piedras)
“A Killer Among Us” by Manuel A. Meléndez (Hato Rey Norte)
“Sweet Feline” by Alejandro Álvarez Nieves (El Condado)
“Things Told While Falling” by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (San José)

Part III: Never Trust Desire
“Turistas” by Ernesto Quiñonez (Dos Hermanos Bridge)
“Y” by José Rabelo (Santurce)
“Inside and Outside” by Edmaris Carazo (Old San Juan)
“Death Angel of Santurce” by Charlie Vázquez (Avenida Fernández Juncos)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Published: 10/4/16
  • IBSN: 9781617752964
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755064


MAYRA SANTOS-FEBRES has published more than twenty-five books of poetry, short stories, essay collections, and novels. Among her most import titles are Sirena Selena (2000), Our Lady of the Night (2006), and La amante de Gardel (2015). Her works have been translated into Croatian, Icelandic, French, Italian, German, and English. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Puerto Rico, and is one of the main organizers of Festival de la Palabra. She is the editor of San Juan Noir (also available in Spanish).

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