Feminist Detective Fiction

(2628 words)
  • Anna Wilson (University of Birmingham)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Women have been prolific and successful writers of detective fiction throughout the twentieth century. The emergence of feminist detective fiction as a distinct subgenre, featuring a female protagonist and distinctly feminist plot concerns and narrative features, is much more recent. Although Dorothy Sayer’s Gaudy Night (1935) and Amanda Cross’s oeuvre are important precursors, the form’s arrival is usually dated from the publication of Marcia Muller’s Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977) and Liza Cody’s Dupe (1980), followed in 1982 by what turned out to be the first in two best-selling series, Sue Grafton’s A is for Alibi and Sara Paretsky’s Indemnity Only. All t…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Wilson, Anna. "Feminist Detective Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=382, accessed 04 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres
  2. Feminism &Women Studies
  3. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction