Crime fiction books became a very successful product in the Brazilian marketplace in the 1990s. This phenomenon only minimally modified the stark division between “popular” and “high” literature that exists in the Brazilian cultural field. Publishing houses devoted special collections to the genre, but they maintained the separation between “serious” and “best seller” authors, a duality usually reinforced within academic literary criticism. This essay focuses on Perseguido (2003) by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, one of the most successful best-selling crime writers in Brazil. In his novels, the representation of the city of Rio de Janeiro as an idealized urban space is a trademark. This article argues that in Perseguido, different textual strategies within the novel contradict the representation of a smooth and harmonic urban space. Therefore, it foregrounds the tensions and contradictions that city habitants (in Rio de Janeiro and many other global cities) experience due to the out-of-control urban growth and the social and economic consequences of globalization. It is impossible to achieve a conservative closure within the text that would evade the daily reality of Rio de Janeiro. Consequently, I propose that it is necessary to break the duality of how crime fiction is received and studied within academic circles, since even the more commercial texts might be more complex than what a superficial reading suggests.


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pp. 76-93
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