Washing, mopping and snooping: everyday practice and detection in the Blanche White Mysteries series

Carla de Figueiredo Portilho


Based on Michel de Certeau’s theory on everyday practices, this essay aims to discuss how the daily activities of the common person may constitute a means of resistance of subaltern cultures to the dominant power in contemporary African American writer Barbara Neely’s Blanche White Mysteries series. Following the path once established by Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, the protagonist Blanche White investigates crimes without altering her daily routine as a cleaning lady – routine becomes the space of investigation itself. Blanche’s effacement in society allows her to carry out her investigation, availing herself of her marginal position to question the rules and regulations to which she only apparently submits.



everyday practices; contemporary African American literature; detective fiction

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Revista Brasileira de Literatura Comparada, ISSN 0103-6963

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Esta revista utiliza uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional.