Here are the highlights from tomorrow’s Canvas magazine. Get your premium glossy weekend magazine in tomorrow’s Weekend Herald.
In my previous job, I was a books editor. The question I got asked most often, upon seeing me look up from a mess of stacked books at my desk, was "do you have to read all of them?" It was such a sweet question, and I always felt a little lame telling the truth, which was that most of them were farmed out to reviewers, and that I spent far more of my time editing others' reviews than writing my own.
Truth is, there were whole swathes of genres I never touched. Fantasy. Military history. Historical fiction. Sci-fi. All dead to me. But there was one particular subset of fiction I'd pick up if I felt like going home, putting the kids to bed as early as possible, and retiring to bed for a juicy - if not always hugely demanding - read. Until a few weeks ago, I'd have called the category psychological thrillers, but, in fact, it has a more precise name: domestic noir. Coined by British author Julia Crouch, she describes it as this: "In a nutshell, domestic noir takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely (but not exclusively) with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants".
Our cover this week features one of the successes of the domestic noir genre, Paula Hawkins, who wrote The Girl On A Train (still on the best-seller lists more than a year since it was published), and who will be one of the key drawcards at the Auckland Writers Festival in May. She has an interesting take on why the genre has exploded, and it's one that might make you recalibrate your ideas about why reading domestic noir is so satisfying, if a little disturbing.