John Locke, ed.

Oct 13, 2020

Queen of the Gangsters

Stories by Margie Harris

Off-Trail Publications 2011

Queen of the Gangsters: Stories by Margie Harris (Off-Trail Publications, 2011), is the first anthology of work of crime fiction writer Margie Harris. Edited by John Locke, Queen of the Gangsters bring the work of Harris, the first woman hardboiled crime fiction writer in history, to a larger audience. During the height of the 1930s gangster pulps, Harris wrote some of the roughest, toughest stories to be published in pulps such as Gangland Stories and Mobs. Readers question whether a woman could write stories that were so mired in the underworld. Harris was a mystery. She had spent time in the Chicago underworld, interviewed death-row inmates in San Francisco, and knew the lingo of the crime world that made her fiction come to life. Margie Harris is still a mystery today. Little is known of her life and what became of her after she finished writing for the pulps. In this collection of eight stories, Locke also presents readers with a biography of Harris, covering the limited details known about her life and her writing.

Rebekah Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative–both analog and digital–in people’s lives. She is interested in how personal narratives produced in alternative spaces create sites that challenge traditionally accepted public narratives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at

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Rebekah Buchanan

Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.

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