Dr. Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz. Argentina Noir: New Millennium Crime Novels in Buenos Aires. Suny: Albany, 2019.
An engaging and insightful guide to Argentine crime fiction since 2000.
Argentina Noir offers a guide to Argentine crime fiction, with a focus on works published since the year 2000. It argues that the novela negra, or crime novel, has become the favored genre for many writers to address the social malaise brought about by changes linked to globalization and market-driven economic policies. Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz presents close readings and original interpretations of eleven novels, all set in or around Buenos Aires, and explores the ways these texts adapt major motifs, figures, and literary techniques in Hispanic crime fiction in order to give voice to wide-ranging social critiques. Schmidt-Cruz addresses such topics as organized crime and institutional complicity, corruption during the presidency of Carlos Menem (1989–1999), terrorist attacks on Jewish institutions in Buenos Aires and the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, and the winners and the losers of neoliberal structural changes. With a solid underpinning in sociological studies and criticism of the genre and its historical context, Argentina Noir reveals how these novels are renovating the genre to engage pressing issues confronting not only Argentina but also countries throughout Latin America and around the globe.
“This is a very significant contribution to the field. It is a full and illustrative, as well as authoritative, guide to crime fiction and the novela negra in Argentina in the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on the literature’s social and political thematics.” — Philip Swanson, author of The New Novel in Latin America: Politics and Popular Culture after the Boom