A Prelude to: Going Back to the Sources

Film noir source literature can be brutal. It can be ugly. It can be racist and reflect the common prejudices and phobias of the day. But you should be kept informed about what viciousness might lie in the foundations of your beloved classics.

Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita Blackburn

Coral grew up as a closeted lesbian, but if you ask me, she’s none too secure as an adult either. She's now older than her niece’s mother, Naima, was at her death. At the end of the novel, Coral is visited by four ghosts while at a drive-through takeout window, and by then, you’re not surprised but rather feel fulfilled by this most classic of all classical tropes.

August Blue by Deborah Levy

A perfect summer read: We are introduced to a woman on holiday in Athens who will soon be off to the Greek island of Paros. A character “finding herself” on such a glamorous vacation is a familiar trope. But Levy does not disappoint. Her plot line veers off  immediately into surreal territory.