The State of the NovelBritain and Beyond
Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos 1. Aufl.
Part of the Blackwell Manifestos series, The State of the Novel offers a lively, yet rigorous investigation into the state and future of the contemporary British novel written by an expert in the field. Evaluates the state of the ‘serious literary’ novel and novel criticism Prominent treatment is paid to the ‘internationalization’ of the novel in English Offers a manifesto on contemporary fiction from an expert in this field; Dominic Head is best known for his Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction 1950-2000 Establishes the shared interests of contemporary theorists of the novel, cultural commentators, and novel consumers An ideal supplementary text for students and faculty interested in the novel and contemporary fiction
Introduction. 1. The Post-Consensus Renaissance? 2. The Novel and Cultural Life in Britain. 3. Assimilating Multiculturalism. 4. Terrorism in Transatlantic Perspective. 5. Global Futures: Novelists, Critics, Citizens. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
"All these chapters are readable, often stimulating, and full of reference to a range of sources and instances." (Textual Practice, 2009) "Head contemplates the contemporary novel and its readers, scholarly and general, offering a reminder of the form's potential. Serious fiction interrogates social and political issues and plays an important part in the ‘process of acculturation’ and in the formation of identity and understanding of the self.” (CHOICE, March 2009) "The first half of Head's book benefits from a tight focus on analysing the relationship between the contemporary cultural fields on England and the US, and the literary novel genre … .I particularly liked the readings Head offers of the peculiarly British sub-genre of the 'seaside novel' ". (Times Higher Education Supplement, January 2009)
Dominic Head is Professor of Modern English Literature in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of several books on twentieth-century and contemporary literature, including The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction, 1950–2000 (2002), and, most recently, Ian McEwan (2007). He is also the editor of The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, third edition (2006).
The State of the Novel offers a lively yet rigorous investigation into the present state of the contemporary novel—in Britain and beyond—and some speculation about its future. Against the backdrop of globalization, Dominic Head establishes the interests shared by contemporary theorists, cultural commentators, and consumers of novels. Key topics are re-evaluated, including: literary prize culture; the idea of a literary renaissance in the 1980s; provincial fiction; the "post-9/11 novel"; and the presumed superiority of the novel in the US. False, but influential myths about the contemporary novel are challenged. This timely book contributes substantially to a revitalized form of novel criticism, emerging from the shadow of academic professionalism as a relevant and necessary medium.
"Few critics have mastered the terrain of contemporary British fiction as Dominic Head has done, and that mastery is fully evidenced here." –Jim English, University of Pennsylvania "The State of the Novel is perceptive, lucid, intelligent, and accessible throughout. A welcome addition to critical work on contemporary fiction, which should appeal to diverse readerships." –Andrzej Gasiorek, University of Birmingham
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