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Tue 31 May 2011 11:30 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 31 May 2011

Crime writer Mike Phillips investigates the coming of age of black British crime fiction and asks why there is still a reluctance to see the black detective as hero.

In recent years as the ethnic mix in the UK has changed, the literature produced by black Britons has embraced broader themes beyond questions of identity and freedom. The autobiographical narratives of the past are being superseded by a new generation of writers who are tackling other genres - notably crime fiction.

Mike Phillips was one of the first to delve into this area with Sam Dean, the journalist who features in his novels Blood Rights and The Late Candidate. In this programme, he meets other writers who are following his example, and discovers what their work tells us about modern Britain. The UK still lags behind the US where novelists such as Walter Mosley and Barbara Neely have captured the black crime fiction genre. Phillips discovers why this is the case.

Producer: Paula McGinley.


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