Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Encyclopedia of Literature: Bernard Gutteridge Biography to Hartshill Warwickshire

Joseph Hansen Biography

(1923–2004), Fadeout, Death Claims, Early Graves, Gravedigger, Nightwork

private eye life mysteries

American crime writer, born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, educated there and in Minneapolis. Like Barbara Wilson, he belongs to that group of contemporary writers eager to exploit the form of the crime novel to investigate social issues, notably gender and sexuality. Southern California is the setting for these mysteries, and alongside Armistead Maupin, Hansen is a witty chronicler of the fads and eccentricities of that life. His central figure is the private eye Dave Brandstetter, unapologetically homosexual, and from the first novel, Fadeout (1970) and onwards, the interaction between the investigator's private life and the mysteries he becomes embroiled in is compellingly handled; other novels in the Brandstetter series are Death Claims (1973) and Early Graves (1987). In narratives like Gravedigger (1982) and Nightwork (1984) his social commentary at times distracts from the momentum of the plot, but when engaged with the most challenging issues, he is a distinctive writer in the Chandler tradition. Hansen also writes fiction outside the private eye genre, under his own name and as James Colton and Rose Brock.

Ron Hansen Biography - (1947– ), Desperadoes, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Marietta in Ecstasy, Nebraska [next]

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or