Joyce Carol Oates pulls out all the stops in this chilling female-centric noir collection featuring brand-new writing from Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, and more.
Joyce Carol Oates, a queenpin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically diverse collection will make you squirm in your seat, stay up at night, laugh out loud, and inevitably wish for more.
Featuring brand-new stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood (poems), Valerie Martin, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, Sheila Kohler, S.A. Solomon, S.J. Rozan, Lucy Taylor, Cassandra Khaw, Bernice L. McFadden, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Livia Llewellyn, Lisa Lim, and Steph Cha.
From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:
“The particular strength of the female noir vision isn’t a recognizable style but rather a defiantly female, indeed feminist, perspective. Cutting Edge brings together a considerable range of twenty-first-century female voices, from sociological realism (Cha) to Grand Guignol surrealism (Oates); from erotic playfulness (Bender) to dark fairy-tale determinism (Khaw). Here is a brilliantly deadpan graphic story by Lisa Lim, and here are brilliantly executed poems by Margaret Atwood. Artwork by Laurel Hausler is striking and original, sinister and triumphant; Noir Dame (on the front cover) is the perfect image of a mysterious beauty, far more than merely skin-deep, and essentially unknowable.”
Praise for Cutting Edge:
“This collection of feminist crime tales edited by the one and only Joyce Carol Oates is marketed to ‘readers who are sick and tired of the status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society.’ Well, isn’t that everyone?”
–CrimeReads, included in the Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019
“The 15 stories and six poems in this slim yet weighty all-original noir anthology–contributors include Margaret Atwood and Edwidge Danticat–are razor-sharp and relentless in their portrayal of life, offering snapshots of dysfunction, everyday toil, and brief joy…Each story sears but does not cauterize, leaving protagonists and readers raw. As Oates points out in her introduction, and the stories hauntingly evoke, noir’s strength has very little to do with man-centric plots and everything to do with female ascendance. Fans of contemporary crime fiction won’t want to miss this one.”
“‘Is there a distinctive female noir?’ asks Oates in her introduction. This collection may not settle that question, but it goes a long way toward supplying candidates for an emerging canon. There are 15 stories here, all but one of them new, and half a dozen new poems…the average [story] is high enough to satisfy readers of all genders.”
“This collection enlivens…flattened archetypes by retelling the noir narrative from the new perspectives of teenage girls, women hired hands, and mothers of children.”
–Book Riot, included in 9 of the Best Noir Fiction Retellings
“This all original anthology features 15 stories, in which a lot of bad men get their comeuppances, by Steph Cha, Edwidge Danticat, S.J. Rozan, and other women authors. Margaret Atwood contributes six poems.”
–Publishers Weekly, Fall 2019 Adult Announcements (Mysteries & Thrillers)
“All of the stories in this collection are excellent, and I definitely recommend it for any connoisseur of noir looking to expand their repertoire with women writers.”
–BookRiot, included in a list of “Noir by Women, Not Just Femme Fatales”