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Finding a Way HomeA Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction$
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Owen E. Brady and Derek C. Maus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604730883

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604730883.001.0001

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At Home on “These Mean Streets”

At Home on “These Mean Streets”

Collaboration and Community in Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins Mystery Series

(p.109) At Home on “These Mean Streets”
Finding a Way Home

Albert U. Turner Jr.

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter analyzes one of the most frequent critical assertions made about Walter Mosley, the idea that Easy Rawlins is an African American version of Raymond Chandler’s “hard-boiled” detective. It argues that Easy Rawlins breaks down some of the social and cultural assumptions codified in Chandler’s formulation of the genre and, as such, represents “the alternative Mosley provides to exclusionary, hard-boiled ideological discourses that bolster masculinist, bourgeois, white social order.” The chapter makes the case that Easy’s development from Devil in a Blue Dress through Cinnamon Kiss (2005) departs from the isolated and authoritarian nature of the conventional hard-boiled hero and instead “asserts the value of home, community, and collaboration ... [and] provides a site from which to consider a means through which the hard-boiled hero can sustain African American communities.”

Keywords:   Walter Mosley, African American literature, Raymond Chandler, hard-boiled detective

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