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'Milwaukee Noir' Exposes The Cream City's Fictional Underbelly

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Noir exposes the underbelly of a place. In film or fiction, characters live in the shadows, denizens of a night where every good intention is punished. Noir found its natural home in New York City and LA in the 1940s and '50s. Now, Milwaukee can lay claim to its own piece of the genre.

Milwaukee Noir is a collection of 14 short stories from different Milwaukee writers, including Jennifer Morales and Valerie Laken, and edited by Tim Hennessy. Morales describes the joys of writing noir fiction using Milwaukee as the city that never sleeps. 

"They’re not bad people but they make bad choices or they have bad habits and noir is great for that. So that’s what I was looking for: how do I show a protagonist who’s a good person, who means to do right, but just messes everything up," she says. 

The book launch is Tuesday, May 7 at Boswell Books at 7 p.m., with most of the authors in attendance.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.