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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 12: The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950$
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Coral Ann Howells, Paul Sharrad, and Gerry Turcotte

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199679775.001.0001

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Genre Fiction since 1950

Genre Fiction since 1950

Crime Fiction, Dystopia, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

(p.466) 30 Genre Fiction since 1950
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Jennifer Lawn

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of genre fiction in New Zealand since 1950. Crime writers such as Vanda Symon and Paul Cleave exploit the phenomenon of ‘glocalization’ by locating an international genre in distinctively local settings. Others, like Nalini Singh and Phillip Mann, embrace the alternative worlds of science fiction and fantasy without any sense that a local referent is necessary or desirable. The chapter first considers how New Zealand crime writers add distinctively Kiwi twists to their work before turning to crime thrillers by Paul Thomas and others. It also examines fiction featuring female detectives, including those written by Vanda Symon, as well as genre hybrids such as historical crime and domestic fiction. Finally, it analyses examples of literary noir by Charlotte Grimshaw, Carl Nixon, and Chad Taylor and political dystopias from C. K. Stead to Bernard Beckett.

Keywords:   genre fiction, crime fiction, dystopia, science fiction, fantasy, Vanda Symon, female detectives, historical crime, domestic fiction, literary noir

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