P.D. James talks about detective fiction at the Bodleian

2 October 2009

new_seated_ungraded_smallDistinguished author P.D. James has written a new book, Talking about Detective Fiction, published by the Bodleian Library.

After nearly 50 years writing detective novels, P.D. James writes now about the genre which has made her so famous. Talking about Detective Fiction is an engaging ‘personal history’ of the genre of detective fiction, peppered with examples from the author’s own writing experience. The book looks at the origins of detective fiction and its development, the reasons behind its abiding popularity, and its role in society today, as well as the genre’s potential future.

The book is a must-read for all devotees of P.D. James as well as fans of the detective novel in general, including would-be writers. Talking about Detective Fiction is destined to become a classic of its kind.

PD James is donating all her royalties from the hardback edition to the Bodleian in support of the Libraries’ activities. A page at the beginning of the hardback publication provides an introduction to the Library and inspires readers to follow her example. To find out more, please click here.

To celebrate the launch of Talking about Detective Fiction, the Bodleian Library is releasing a special video production featuring P.D. James in conversation with Colin Dexter talking about detective fiction.

Throughout October, there will also be a display ‘The Body in the Library’ featuring manuscripts and rare items from the Library’s collection related to the origins and development of detective fiction. Highlights include material linked to a number of crime authors mentioned by P.D. James in the book, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler and Edmund Crispin (pseudonym of Bruce Montgomery).

A number of eminent authors of detective and crime fiction including P.D. James, Val McDermid, Ruth Rendell and Kate Summerscale take part today in a special event to celebrate the genre of detective fiction.

P.D. James was born in Oxford and is a supporter of the Bodleian. She was awarded the Bodley Medal in 2002 and has spoken at several Library events. P.D. James is widely considered one of the most pre-eminent author of detective fiction in the UK. In a career spanning over 50 years, she has written 20 books, and has won numerous awards for her writing.

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