Why does crime feature at the center of so many postcolonial novels set in major cities? This book interrogates the connections that can be found between narratives of crime, cities, and colonialism to bring to light the ramifications of this literary preoccupation, as well as possibilities for cultural, aesthetic, and political catharsis.

Examining late-twentieth- and twenty-first-century novels set in London, Belfast, Mumbai, Sydney, Johannesburg, Nairobi, and urban areas in the Palestinian West Bank, Criminal Cities considers the marks left by neocolonialism and imperialism on the structures, institutions, and cartographies of twenty-first-century cities. Molly Slavin suggests that literary depictions of urban crime can offer unique capabilities for literary characters, as well as readers, to process and negotiate that lingering colonial violence, while also providing avenues for justice and forms of reparations.

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