Twenty-First Century Fiction What Happens Now

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-07
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Does twenty-first century fiction offer the reader identifiably new fictional styles, themes, characteristics or tropes? What theoretical ideas best describe the uncertain world we appear now to be living in? What are the most interesting and significant novels of the twenty-first century and what do they tell us about the contemporary times we live in? These are the key questions engaged with in this new critical volume of essays on 21st century fiction. The chapters explore the work of writers as diverse as Salman Rushdie, David Peace, Ali Smith, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks, China Miéville, Trezza Azzopardi, John Burnside and Hilary Mantel in depth and at length, developing fresh critical approaches to work that is genuinely of our time. Throughout this unique collection the aim is to identify what is distinctive and innovative about the individual novels and about 21st century fiction in general.

Author Biography

Siân Adiseshiah is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, UK. She is Programme Leader of the MA in 21st Century Literature, the first of its kind in the UK. Her research interests are in contemporary theatre, utopian studies and 21st century literature, and she is author of Churchill's Socialism: Political Resistance in the Plays of Caryl Churchill.Rupert Hildyard is Principal Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, UK, where he is Programme Leader for BA English. He has published on 20th century cultural history, the farming books of Adrian Bell and Henry Williamson, literature and the 2008 financial crash and John Lanchester's fiction.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: What Happens Now; Siân Adiseshiah and Rupert Hildyard
2. Such a Thing as Avant Garde Has Ceased to Exist: The Hidden Legacies of the British Experimental Novel; Jenny Hodgson
3. Tough Shit Erich Auerbach: Contingency and Estrangement in David Peace's Occupied City and Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; Phil Redpath 
4. When the Two Sevens Clash: David Peace's Nineteen Seventy-Seven as 'Occult History'; Dean Lockwood
5. Remaindered Books: Glen Duncan's Twenty-First-Century Novels; Alice Bennett
6. 'The journey creates us. We become the frontiers we cross': Stepping Across Lines in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown; Daniel O'Gorman
7. 'The Private Rooms and Public Haunts': Theatricality and the City of London in Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White; Lin Pettersson 
8. 'This is my Opa. Do you remember him killing the Jews?': Rachel Seiffert's 'Micha' and the Transgenerational Haunting of a Silenced Past; María Jesús Martínez-Alfaro
9. A Voice without a Name: Gothic Homelessness in Ali Smith's Hotel World and Trezza Azzopardi's Remember Me; Emily Horton
10. Ghosts of Postmodernity – Spectral Epistemology and Haunting in Hilary Mantel's Fludd and Beyond Black; Wolfgang Funk
11. Intimations of Immortality: Semiologies of Ageing and the Lineaments of Eternity in Contemporary Prose; Lucy Perry
12. Crosshatching: Boundary Crossing in the Post-millennial British Boom; Jude Roberts
13. 'You just know when the world is about to break apart': Utopia, Dystopia, and New Global Uncertainties in Sarah Hall's The Carhullan Army; Iain Robinson
14. Finding the Right Kind of Attention: Dystopia and Transcendence in John Burnside's Glister; Florian Niedlich
Introduction: Glister, Romantic Thought and the Religious Turn
Dystopia and Transcendence
Conclusion: A Form of Reading

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