University of Arizona

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Women Writing Mystery

Local mystery authors discuss gender, readership in the genre

Image of woman detective

In recognition of Women’s History Month, this event highlights the valuable contributions women mystery authors have made to literature through their portrayal of strong female protagonists and their insights into contemporary society. The audience, guided by the author panel, will engage in a meaningful discussion about readership by addressing topics including who reads mysteries, favorite mystery writers, and themes in mystery fiction. The panel explores the gender component of authorship, including the use of pen names, and also compares publication and readership between women mystery writers and their male counterparts.

Women Writing Mystery reestablishes the Libraries’ series of annual programming to highlight the Women Mystery Writers Collection housed in Special Collections. The Women Mystery Writers Collection has a primary emphasis on Southwestern women mystery authors and includes mystery novels published from the 1950s to present written by female authors who primarily portray female protagonists. Also collected are papers and manuscripts of Southwestern women mystery authors, including the papers of bestselling author J.A. Jance. With more than 1,300 volumes, the collection serves an interdisciplinary audience conducting research in the areas of literature, creative writing, cultural studies, and women’s studies.