This week's Monday Interview at Things I'd Rather Be Doing is with author William Gay, who discusses his new novel, Twilight, among other things. Gay isn't usually thought of as a crime writer, butwhen I asked him about his influences and the ways his works are characterized, he cited hard-boiled fiction as an influence:

"I also read a lot of Raymond Chandler, Ross McDonald, hard-boiled stuff. There is a general feel toward the end of The Long Home when the kid’s sort of walking away that’s like that. Otto Penzler, who runs the Mysterious Bookshop, called me after The Long Home. He stocked it. He considered it a crime novel. I have a story coming in the Best Mystery Stories of 2007 chosen by him. It was from Tin House, about the meth trade. It’s kind of a surreal, bizarre story. It’ll be in Best American Short Stories, selected by Stephen King, too. First time I’ve ever been in there."

As Jeff Pierce wrote today at the Rap Sheet, "Tennessee writer William Gay’s Twilight (2006) didn’t register with me right away as fitting into the crime-fiction tradition. But this “Southern gothic novel about an undertaker who won’t let the dead rest” definitely makes the cut."

Too many great books get overlooked because they're not slotted in the right pigeon-hole. Crime fiction fans shouldn't let Twilight pass them by.

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