Murder isn’t what it used to be. Explore the shifting role of the victim in detective novels, and how that shift reflects broader social changes.
From Poe and Sherlock Homes to British cozies and Hardboiled pulps, novelist Matthew Sullivan traces the many influences on the postwar and modern eras of the mystery genre and shows how empathy plays a unique role in contemporary crime novels—especially in today’s literary mysteries.
What does the way crime victims are portrayed say about a society’s culture? Join Sullivan to reflect on the special relationship between reading literature and experiencing empathy—on the page and in our daily lives.
Matthew Sullivan (he/him) is the author of the novel Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, which was an IndieNext pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover pick, and winner of the Colorado Book Award. His essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, Daily Beast, Spokesman-Review, Sou’wester, and elsewhere. He is currently a writing teacher and is working on a crime novel set in Soap Lake.
Sullivan lives in Anacortes.
- March 16, 2023
- NCW Libraries
About Speakers Bureau Events
Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau roster is made up of professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted by a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.