Gaslighting and Domestic Noir


I've been putting the final touches to our edited collection Domestic Noir, due to come out with Palgrave Macmillan next year. In the twelve months since the project was conceived, domestic horror seems to be more relevant than ever, and gaslighting, a trope from postwar film noir, has re-entered the popular imaginary via Lauren Duca's 'Donald Trump is Gaslighting America' and Tressie McMillan Cottom's 'A Few Notes on Gaslighting'. The domestic thriller shows no sign of slowing down in popularity, and this collection, which offers a snapshot of the subgenre, has emerged as a highly politicised study of popular fiction. In this short piece I wrote for the Noirwich blog, I discuss the renewed relevance of the domestic thriller in a time when racially motivated crimes have become state-sanctioned, and gendered violence legitimised in public life. I argue that popular, and particularly genre, fiction offers an index and critique of our current cultural anxieties.