Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Bo-Co)

Burke, James Lee

crime novels introduced fiction

(US, 1936– )

James Lee Burke has carved a unique niche in American crime fiction with a clutch of evocative and atmospheric novels that blur the distinction between literary and genre fiction. He began his career with four non-crime novels, the last of which The Lost Get-Back Boogie (1986) won him a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In 1985 The Neon Rain introduced Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux, a complex Cajun whose investigations lead him into every stratum of society. Burke is a master of intricate plots subtly handled, and his poetic prose manages to carry tremendously exciting narrative drive. His themes are redemption and grace, love and despair. In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead (1993) and A Stained White Radiance (1992) are among the best of the Robicheaux series. With Cimarron Rose (1997) he introduced a new character, lawyer Billy Bob Holland, whose stories draw on Burke's own family history.

James Ellroy, George V. Higgins  VM

Burroughs, Edgar Rice [next] [back] Burgess, Melvin

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