From Rivertown to the Grosse Pointe border, short stories examining the
grittier side of Detroit get the spotlight in a new collection entitled Detroit Noir
. Celebrated authors like Loren D. Estleman and Joyce Carol Oates contributed to the book.
Detroit's long history -- from Prohibition days, to Motown, to the
current revitalization of downtown -- figures prominently in the
collection of stories.
Estleman is based in Ann Arbor but says
he walks the same mean streets as his detective [Amos] Walker, "only in the
daytime." For him, Detroit is the ultimate noir backdrop.
one thing, it's an old city, so it has the chops, the personality,"
Estleman says. "And also it's a city that for better or worse has its
share of violence. In the War of 1812, a lot of the battles were fought
right here in the waterway. It was the northern point of the
Underground Railroad during the Civil War, so there's insight into
clandestine activities. There's Prohibition, and the insurrection or
rebellion in 1967. So it has that kind of sinister background, and yet
also a very strong backbone.
"People who live in Detroit are
genuinely interested in keeping their city alive," he says. "It has a
shabby nobility that has always drawn me in."
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