The Roots of the True Crime Genre: Background information when reading Little Deaths

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Little Deaths

by Emma Flint

Little Deaths by Emma Flint X
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2017, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Roots of the True Crime Genre

Elm City Murder PamphletAs evidenced in her novel, Little Deaths, author Emma Flint is an aficionado of true crime. These books that chronicle the grim details of actual murders are written with a sensitive ear to readers' morbid curiosity about sensational crimes. The genre has been popular for centuries – people have long been willing to shell out cash to indulge the guilty pleasure of peeping into man's oldest and most heinous practice – murder.

Gutenberg may have had lofty ambitions for his game-changing printing press, but leave it to people to take a fine invention and test its limits by setting it to more and more profane purposes. It didn't take long before Gutenberg's press evolved (or devolved, depending on one's point of view) from printing Bibles to, among other things, crime reporting. This took a few forms - pamphlets, which often detailed murders; ballads, which focused on criminals and were made into posters that hung in cities and towns; and printed accounts of trials.

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