Faculty Publications

Sleuth and the Goddess: Hestia, Artemis, Athena, And Aphrodite in Women's Detective Fiction


260 pp.

Detective fiction is compelling–once started it has to be finished: The Sleuth and the Goddessis no less gripping. In this riveting book Susan Rowland is part detective, part analyst, and always a brilliant literary critic.  She adroitly reveals how detection is one of the central myths of the modern psyche.  The crime scenes she investigates reveal their psychological and literary clues to show how the re-emergence of the sacred feminine is at the center of women’s mystery detective stories.  Never cozy, never hardboiled, this is cultural psychology at its very best.
Dr. Luke Hockley, psychotherapist and Professor of Media Analysis, University of Bedfordshire, UK, author of Somatic Cinema
With The Sleuth and the Goddess, Susan Rowland joins the rarefied pantheon of women writers that includes Jane Harrison, who a century ago in her magnificent work Themis, explored the archetypal world of the pre-patriarchal goddesses of ancient Greece. Likewise, Rowland has ventured behind the veil of the contemporary detective story and finds that the ancient goddesses are alive and well in the psyches of modern women detective authors and their heroines. Both Harrison and Rowland became detectives in their own right and render a great service for the goddesses in ancient and modern form.
Thomas Singer, M.D., Editor of the Cultural Complex Series
Rowland shows us the endless incarnations of ancient goddesses – Athena, Artemis, Hestia, Aphrodite, Psyche and Persephone – in women’s mystery narratives. Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, The Sleuth and the Goddess argues that fiction – the mythology of today – responds with proactive, investigating, justice-seeking, curious and creative women to the social and political changes in contemporary society. As the feminine spirit re-emerges, the sleuth heals the fragmented modern psyche by reconciling it with the unconscious and the archetypal. Topical and timely, this book is Jungian feminism at its best.
Dr. Helena Bassil-Morozow, Cultural Philosopher and Film Academic, author of The Trickster in Contemporary Film
By illuminating the presence of the Goddess in the incarnation and creation of character, Dr. Susan Rowland brings a fresh and exciting perspective to the study of archetypes in women’s literature. She makes us aware of the enduring influence of the Goddess in one of the most powerful and compelling areas of literary endeavor-the development of the mystery novel.
Jacqueline Winspear, author of the novels featuring psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobb
About the Author:
Susan Rowland, Ph.D., is Chair of the M. A. in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. Author of many books on Jung, the feminine, literature and literary theory, her recent work includes C. G. Jung in the Humanities: Taking the Soul’s Path (2010) and The Ecocritical Psyche: Literature, Evolutionary Complexity and Jung (2012). She lives in California with her husband, the digital literary artist and poet, Joel Weishaus. 
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