It’s hard to imagine a better setting for a crime story than Providence. Over time, this city has become shrouded in dark realities: the vise-grip influence of Mafioso crime families, convicted politicians and even being founded by a religious exile fleeing the law in Massachusetts. Though Providence has surely climbed its way out of the muck and into cleaner air, there is no doubt it provides ample backdrop for stories without heroes or happy endings. Thanks to the partnership between Akashic Books, an independent Brooklyn-based publisher, and local writer Ann Hood, we now have Providence Noir—a collection of gritty, hard-boiled short stories that are set within different neighborhoods throughout the city.
Akashic Books launched their series of original noir anthologies in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. The books are comprised of all new stories written by authors who live or have lived in the respective city. One local writer is asked to be the editor, who then recruits other writers to create a short story, each set within particular neighborhoods of the city. Following the success of Boston Noir in 2009, Akashic asked Ann Hood to be the editor of Providence Noir and bring readers deeper into the underbelly of New England. The writers who contributed stories are all vastly different, from Pulitzer-prize winners to first-time authors, and include well-known local names like Thomas Cobb, Peter Farrelly and Hester Kaplan.
On June 18, The Brown University Bookstore will be hosting a reading to promote the release of Providence Noir. Ann Hood and several contributing writers will read a segment of their story and give a glimpse of the dark tales that await. Book signings will be available after the reading. This event is free and open to the public. 5:30-7:30pm. 244 Thayer Street. 863-3168.