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Abstract

This article examines the manner in which the recent collection D.C. Noir sets out to illuminate the dark urban corners of the so-called “Capital of the World.” I will look at how the neighborhood-based short stories in this collection reveal the urban underbelly of the American nation’s capital, its seedy underworld, the dark side of domestic life and murkiness of family ties, the racialized practices and institutionalized corruption plaguing the great American city. I argue that, through the collective voices of its residents, these stories offer precious insights into life as lived in the various corners of Washington, D.C., and bring to the fore a world populated not only by outcasts and the disenfranchised, but also by law enforcement officers, politicians, and high-profile representatives, similarly acting under the constraints of a dysfunctional city.

unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs. The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients. Eric Lipton & Kevin Sack, Fiscal Footnote: Big Senate Gift to Drug Maker , N.Y. T IMES (Jan.19, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/us

not observably translated into committee actions, legislative checks on executive military discretion, nor legislative demands for more control over military and defense policy. Douglas Kriner & Francis Shen, Responding to War on Capitol Hill: Battlefield Casualties, Congressional Response, and Public Support for the War in Iraq , 58 A m . J. P ol . S ci . 157 (2014). The New York Times and Washington Post would later apologize to their readers for failing to pursue an understanding of the rationale behind the Iraq War's AUMF, but according to Fowler “[t