‘An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’? : Woman as Writer and Protagonist in Detective Fiction
Keywords:Detective Fiction, Feminism, Gender Stereotypes, Women Writer
Crime fiction is one of the most popular forms of fiction in the world today. From its early beginnings in the nineteenth century till the late 1960s, the genre was generally regarded as consisting of male writers and their male detectives. Most authoritative histories of the genre ignored women writers and their women detectives. The feminist project of recovering lost works of women writers, ushered in by the Second Wave of Feminism, brought to light the contribution of women writers in the genre of detective fiction. P. D. James introduced the first female private investigator in her novel An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972). Soon, many women writers began to write novels with a feminist awareness. These writers appropriated the conventions of the genre and subverted them for feminist purposes. This paper traces the development of the woman detective from the beginnings of the genre in the nineteenth century to the present, in order to examine the role of women writers and their women detectives in a genre traditionally seen as being masculine and reactionary.
How to Cite