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Splattered InkPostfeminist Gothic Fiction and Gendered Violence$
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Sarah E. Whitney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040467

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

Waking the Dead

Waking the Dead

Patricia Cornwell’s Forensic Imagination

(p.115) 5 Waking the Dead
Splattered Ink

Sarah E. Whitney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies the archetypal female death professional—a Charon figure who stoically witnesses and bears pain and who provides maternal care and solace for victims of sexually violent crime—in the works of Patricia Cornwell. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, who is featured in twenty-three (and counting) of her novels, epitomizes this figure. The public appetite for the female death professional, this indelible cultural icon that Cornwell has created, illustrates how postfeminist gothic aesthetics can be understood in complex ways. And although her corpus of work is immense, Cornwell is drawn to reworking the familiar gendered narrative of Jack the Ripper, but with a postfeminist twist.

Keywords:   female death professional, Patricia Cornwell, Kay Scarpetta, sexual violence, postfeminist gothic aesthetics, crime fiction, forensics

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