"It's urban, it's real, but is this literature? Controversy rages over a new genre whose sales are headed off the charts"
Yes, it's written by black people.
A couple of years ago a read an amazing novel with a young black male protaganist whose father was a jailed DJ and his momma was pretty useless at looking after him and his little brother and he cheated on his true-love girlfriend. I'd love to re-read it but the genre is so big now I am having no luck tracking it down.
The average detective story is probably no worse than the average novel, but you never see the average novel. It doesn’t get published. The average—or only slightly above average—detective story does. Not only is it published but it is sold in small quantities to rental libraries, and it is read. There are even a few optimists who buy it at the full retail price of two dollars, because it looks so fresh and new, and there is a picture of a corpse on the cover. And the strange thing is that this average, more than middling dull, pooped-out piece of utterly unreal and mechanical fiction is not terribly different from what are called the masterpieces of the art. It drags on a little more slowly, the dialogue is a little grayer, the cardboard out of which the characters are cut is a shade thinner, and the cheating is a little more obvious; but it is the same kind of book. Whereas the good novel is not at all the same kind of book as the bad novel. It is about entirely different things. But the good detective story and the bad detective story are about exactly the same things, and they are about them in very much the same way. There are reasons for this too, and reasons for the reasons; there always are.
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