Is it just a Black thing? Just what is Urban Fiction and how extensive is the genre? Urban fiction is just an umbrella. According to David Wright, in a 2006 article published by the Library Journal, Urban fiction finds its roots in the novels of Mario Puzo and Jackie Collins.
“One of the hottest literary phenomena of recent years has been the explosion of what has been variously termed hip-hop, street, or urban fiction. Especially popular with younger African Americans, books in this genre are reaching an increasingly broad readership through ties to hip-hop music and culture. These crime stories generally revolve around the often tragic choices and journeys of young women and men drawn by the lure of easy money into drugs, prostitution, and the thug life. Street lit readers place a high premium on authenticity, and many of the genre’s writers have firsthand experience of the gangsta life, not a few starting their writing careers as a way of coping while in prison and a means of going legit once they get out.
There is often plenty of glamour amidst the grit, however, and if the genre can be traced back to the bleak, autobiographical ghetto novels of Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim, they are also the progeny of the materialistic sex-and-shopping novels of Jackie Collins and the bravura crime family sagas of Mario Puzo. Characterized by badass attitude and rendered in the evolving language of the streets, these high-stakes dramas offer plenty of explicit sex and frequent violence. As a reviewer at Salon.com put it, ‘The three things most commonly exchanged by [the genre’s] characters are profanities, gunfire and bodily fluids.'”
Read the complete article here: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6349018.html