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New Jersey Noir

New Jersey Noir 

Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Year: 2011
Length: 280 pages
Preview: Amazon.com

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Publisher's Blurb

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 U.S. 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.

—Joyce Carol Oates, from the introduction

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)
  • "Camden" 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 (Greenwich)
  • "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
  • "Excavation" by Edmund White & Michael Carroll (Asbury Park)
  • "Too Near Real" by Jonathan Safran Foer (Princeton)
  • "The Tunnel" by Robert Pinsky (Long Branch)
  • "Run Kiss Daddy" by Joyce Carol Oates (Kittatinny Mountains)

Reviews

  • Publishers Weekly, August 15, 2011, p. 56