Taft, Alison (2018) Feminist Noir or Chick Noir? – Protagonist, Voice, Tone and Sexuality in Female-Led Contemporary Noir Fiction. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This exegesis is a critical and reflexive commentary on my first novel (Taft, A.J. (2011) Our Father, Who Art Out There…Somewhere, Caffeine Nights: Kent) and my struggle to fit my writing to pre-existing or newly-emerging genres.

At the time Our Father was published (September 2011) a new publishing category was seeking to establish itself in the marketplace. Chick Noir first emerged as a feminist reinvention of the traditionally male noir genre with stories centred around a criminal story question. However, following the phenomenal commercial success of chick noir books like Before I Sleep (Watson, S.J. 2011), Gone Girl (Flynn, Gillian, 2012), and Girl On The Train (Hawkins, Paula, 2015) our understanding of what constitutes a chick noir text has changed.

This exegesis examines my attempts to contextualise Our Father within the framework of Chick Noir, both as it existed in 2011 and as it has developed since. It has led to me looking at other possible categories for my writing including Feminist Crime Fiction and Feminist Noir.

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