Regional aspects of Miami crime fiction

Heidi Lee Alvarez, Florida International University


This thesis argues that forces of literary regionalism and postmodern culture are behind the explosion of crime fiction being written in and about South Florida by a growing number of resident authors. Research included four methods of investigation: (1) A critical reading of many of the novels that make up the sub-genre. (2) A study of the theories of regionalism, postmodernism and the genre of the crime fiction. (3) Interviews with a number of the authors and a prominent Miami book seller. (4) Sociological studies of Miami in terms of historical events and their cultural significance. Today's South Florida crime fiction authors cast their narratives in the old genre of the detective novel where characters are delineated according to traditional definitions of good and evil. What makes South Florida crime fiction different from traditional detective fiction is its interest in the exotic, postmodern culture and setting of South Florida. There is a unique cultural diversity of the city due to the geographical location of Miami in relationship to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the political forces at work in the region. South Florida's sub-tropical climate, fragile ecosystem, and elements of frontier life in a cosmopolitan city work to support Miami crime fiction.

Subject Area

Literature|American literature

Recommended Citation

Alvarez, Heidi Lee, "Regional aspects of Miami crime fiction" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1426018.