"Heise's illuminating history of the urban underworld in twentieth-century American literature makes excellent use of critical geography to show how urban planners, social reformers, and literary artists conceived the metropolis and its ostensibly dark nether depths."
(Sean McCann author of A Pinnacle of Feeling
"A timely and eloquent contribution to a growing body of critical work on the stratified meanings of the modern city. Heise convincingly weds textual and spatial analysis in a nuanced reading of the capitalist dialectic whereby uneven development produces urban underworlds and underworld contradictions spur uneven development."
(David Pike author of Metropolis on the Styx
"Urban Underworlds offers sensitive, satisfying close readings of a vast body of urban literature to argue that these intimate portraits of America's ethnic, racial, and sexual underworlds expose the larger forces of uneven capitalist development. It also happens to be a beautifully written book."
(Modern Fiction Studies
About the Author
THOMAS HEISE is an assistant professor of English at McGill University and the author of Horror Vacui: Poems.