It Shall Rise From the Ashes
May 9, 2012 4:20 PM   Subscribe

What are the great novels of Detroit? All genres welcome, but latter half of the 20th century preferred. Thanks!
posted by gerryblog to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is a gorgeous, epic novel set in and around Detroit from 1920s until the 1960s.
posted by superquail at 4:24 PM on May 9, 2012 [14 favorites]

Best answer: "Black Gangster" by Donald Goines is a classic piece of black pulp fiction and is just bristling with racial tension and drama.

Elmore Leonard is, of course, the Shakespeare of Detroit-oriented crime fiction.
posted by chrchr at 4:24 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is really abstract, but I have always thought Delany's Dhalgren was about Detroit.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:42 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: It's probably not technically a novel, but in my opinion, Joyce Maynard's Internal Combustion reads like a really good one. And Detroit's all over it.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:51 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: In addition to Elmore Leonard, check out Loren Estleman.
posted by maurice at 4:54 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: I came in to suggest Middlesex, only to see superquail beat me to it.

You also might want to check out Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, which takes place in the Detroit suburbs, though it's not nearly as much about Detroit as Middlesex is.
posted by Sara C. at 4:57 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Jon A Jackson's detective novels are pretty great, especially The Blind Pig.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:25 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Them, by Joyce Carol Oates. Classic.
posted by littlecatfeet at 6:53 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Seconding Donald Goines. If you're only going to read one, I recommend Black Girl Lost.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:56 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Loren D Estleman. He's written several series, (nearly) all of which are set in the city.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 8:36 PM on May 9, 2012

Dropped in to recommend second Them by Oates.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2012

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