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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.