For as long as there have been libraries, librarians have played an integral role in connecting readers to writers. The result has been the construction of communities around the world, onsite and online, as people come together for reading experiences that provide education and enjoyment. This paper explores how crime fiction writers are particularly adept at facilitating high levels of connectedness because creating a sense of community has become such an essential component of a crime writer’s toolkit. The imagined worlds of crime fiction works have negotiated a path from the pages of these stories into the common consciousness that even those unfamiliar with the genre will easily recognise the country estate and the dark alleyway. Readers also recognise the victims, villains and vast array of amateur and professional sleuths that make their way through these tales of greed, lust, revenge and murder. Superimposed upon these physical settings, and the characters that occupy them, is a virtual setting, an imagined community where good triumphs over evil. Thus, crime fiction writers reduce the distance between the world that is lived in and the world that is wanted ensuring the genre does more than provide entertainment; it generates important conversations around connectedness and the types of communities we want to build. This paper also examines, with a focus on the British and American crime fiction traditions, how librarians are able to assist in producing such connections between crime fiction readers and writers as well as between readers and other readers.
Rachel Franks, Central Queensland University, Australia
This paper is part of the LibrAsia2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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