Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

Thank you to Brian Ward and Ian Scott for invaluable feedback and scholarly direction and above all to Eithne Quinn for tirelessly and patiently reading and rereading while inspiring me with her way of thinking; her incredible ideas and imagination underpin this book. Deep appreciation also to Jonathan Munby...

read more

Books Making a Killing: An Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-18

The publication of Monster: The Autobiography of an LA Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur in the summer of 1993 generated a huge amount of excitement in literary circles.1 Michiko Kakutani, who has a fierce reputation as a book reviewer for the New York Times, deemed it a “startling and galvanic book,” highlighting Shakur’s...

read more

Chapter One: From Rage to Rap and Prison to Print: Social, Cultural, and Commercial Contexts of Emergence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 19-42

One of the objectives of this book is to position gang memoirs within prevailing gangsta culture. To do so requires an exploratory chapter into how LA gang experiences and cultural practices came to be narrativized and sold in popular form. This chapter will highlight the complex processes at work in the...

read more

Chapter Two: Homeboys Between Hard Covers: Scholarly Approaches to the Study of Gang Memoirs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-66

This book will examine the emergence of these memoirs as a popular cultural phenomenon and a commercial production trend while also considering their complex textual politics in terms of both theme and form.1 Furthermore, I intend to explore how gang memoirs are constructed in the media and interpreted by...

read more

Chapter Three: Killer Books: The Representations and Politics of Violence in Gang Memoirs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 67-96

Violent behavior is an integral characteristic of contemporary street gangs, as has been regularly illustrated across different forms of gangsta popular culture. Graphic and shocking acts of violence are routine in, and expected of, both gangsta rap and ghetto action films. Cultural scholars have explored at length...

read more

Chapter Four: Brothers Who Could Kill with Words: Language, Literacy, and the Quest for Education in Gang Memoirs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-122

Gangsta rap and ghetto films both savor graphic and aggressive imagery. Film scholar Jonathan Munby describes the ghetto action movie cycle as “uncompromisingly violent,” contending that these films “struggled to provide a positive message about the fate of America’s black urban communities.” 1 Violence is certainly...

read more

Chapter Five: Murderer, Monster, Novelist, or Nobel Nominee?: Press Reception and Media Constructions of Gang Memoirs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-148

Having addressed the contexts of the memoirs, reasons for their emergence, and their textual features, this research now seeks to understand how these popular narratives have been interpreted by commentators. How and why did the media impose discourses on the memoirs? As reception studies scholar Janet...

read more

Chapter Six: Quick Reads for Reluctant Readers: Consuming Gang Memoirs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-178

Though “exclusive” reading practices of journalists and reviewers are vital when considering the production of meaning of these memoirs, of equal significance are “everyday” readers. As chapter 1 detailed, the readership of these texts is very broad. The readers I will primarily focus on in this chapter are low-income, LA...

read more

Conclusions: Still Running

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 179-188

The relationship between violence and pedagogy is the central theme under scrutiny in this study of gang memoirs. The books incorporate aggressive imagery and are commercially profitable partly because of the gangsta propensity for violence. But these memoirs have demonstrated that gangsta violence is not...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-222

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-236

Index and Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 237-245