1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2450-8497
First Published
10 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The destruction of the idyll: Linda Castillo’s and Jodi Picoult’s Amish crime fiction

Published Online: 01 Jul 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 13 (2021) - Issue 1 (June 2021)
Page range: 1 - 15
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2450-8497
First Published
10 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The present article discusses recent developments in American crime fiction, namely the so-called Amish mysteries by Linda Castillo and Jodi Picoult. The aim is to show that although Castillo’s and Picoult’s fiction has been termed ethnic crime writing, the way these writers make use of the Amish setting does not serve the primarily educational purpose of raising awareness of a specific ethnic group as was the case with the older generation of ethnic crime writers (such as Tony Hillerman and P.L. Gaus). Employing Bakhtin’s idyllic chronotope (a concept most often critically applied to classic works1 but shown here as a versatile instrument for discussing genre literature as well) as a point of reference, the paper further analyses how the narratives invoke this familiar spatial model and initiate its violation. It is argued that the writers’ narrative strategies serve to achieve the sharpest contrast between the idyllic place of love, family and labour and the hideous crimes committed there, implying that idyllic rurality is either too fragile to be attainable or that its existence is a mere deception.

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