Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.
Brand-new stories from: Jane Hamilton, Reed Farrel Coleman, Valerie Laken, Matthew J. Prigge, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Vida Cross, Larry Watson, Frank Wheeler Jr., Derrick Harriell, Christi Clancy, James E. Causey, Mary Thorson, Nick Petrie, and Jennifer Morales.
From the introduction by Tim Hennessy:
Presently, Milwaukee is going through a renaissance–abandoned factories being converted to condos, craft breweries and distilleries pushing out corner taverns–yet at the same time it is among the most segregated and impoverished big cities in the country. The gentrification of neighborhoods outside of downtown bear the impact of twentieth-century redlining efforts, forcing residents out due to housing demand, adding fuel to the affordable-housing crisis. Such an environment and atmosphere make excellent fodder for noir fiction–an outlook out of step with the romanticized nostalgia that Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley created of Milwaukee . . .
The book you’re holding is the first of its kind–a short fiction collection about Milwaukee, by writers who’ve experienced life here. The crime/noir genre at its best can be one of the purest forms of social commentary. I’ve gathered contributors who can tell not just a fine story, but who can write about the struggles and resilience of the people who live here. Maybe you picked up this book because you recognized an author’s name, like Jane Hamilton or Reed Farrel Coleman. You’ll also find Matthew J. Prigge and Jennifer Morales, among others, whose stories you won’t soon forget. Or maybe you were intrigued by the word Milwaukee in the title. Whatever the reason, I’m honored to compile a body of work that represents what I love, and fear, about Milwaukee. I love my city’s lack of pretension; its stubbornness and pride in the unpolished corners. I fear that my city faces an uncertain future–that as it becomes more divided it may pushes our best and brightest to find somewhere else to shine.