Hard-boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories

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Columbia University Press, 2009 - Performing Arts - 327 pages

Leonard Cassuto's cultural history links the testosterone-saturated heroes of American crime stories to the sensitive women of the nineteenth-century sentimental novel. From classics like The Big Sleep and The Talented Mr. Ripley to neglected paperback gems, Cassuto chronicles the dialogue--centered on the power of sympathy--between these popular genres and the sweeping social changes of the twentieth century, ending with a surprising connection between today's serial killers and the domestic fictions of long ago.

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About the author (2009)

Leonard Cassuto is professor of English at Fordham University and an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in academic journals and popular periodicals ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Salon.com. He is the author of The Inhuman Race: The Racial Grotesque in American Literature and Culture and the general editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of the American Novel.

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