The present volume focuses on the liminal space which postcolonial youngsters inhabit in contemporary Britain as dramatised in fiction, thus envisioning the postcolonial as a site of fruitful and potentially transformative friction between different identitary variables and sociocultural interpellation.
The widespread threat of terrorist and counter-terrorist violence in the twenty-first century has created a globalized context for social interactions, transforming the ways in which young people relate to the world around them and to one another. This is the first study that reads post-9/11 and 7/7 British writing for the young as a response to this contemporary predicament, exploring how children’s writers find the means to express the local conditions and different facets of the global wars around terror. The texts examined in this book reveal a preoccupation with overcoming various forms of violence and prejudice faced by certain groups within post-terror Britain, as well as a concern with mapping out their social relations with other groups, and those concerns are set against the recurring themes of racist paranoia, anti-immigrant hostility, politicized identities, and growing up in countries transformed by the effects of terror and counter-terror. The book concentrates on the relationship between postcolonial and critical race studies, Britain’s colonial legacy, and literary representations of terrorism, tracing thematic and formal similarities in the novels of both established and emerging children’s writers such as Elizabeth Laird, Sumia Sukkar, Alan Gibbons, Muhammad Khan, Bali Rai, Nikesh Shukla, Malorie Blackman, Claire McFall, Miriam Halahmy, and Sita Brahmachari. In doing so, this study maps new connections for scholars, students, and readers of contemporary children’s fiction who are interested in how such writing addresses some of the most pressing issues affecting us today, including survival after terror, migration, and community building.
This critical guide introduces major novelists and themes in British fiction from 1975 to 2005. It engages with concepts such as postmodernism, feminism, gender and the postcolonial, and examines the place of fiction within broader debates in contemporary culture.A comprehensive Introduction provides a historical context for the study of contemporary British fiction by detailing significant social, political and cultural events. This is followed by five chapters organised around the core themes: (1) Narrative Forms, (2) Contemporary Ethnicities, (3) Gender and Sexuality, (4) History, Memory and Writing, and (5) Narratives of Cultural Space.
This book considers how contemporary British children’s books engage with some of the major cultural debates of recent years, and how they resonate with the current preoccupations and tastes of the white mainstream British reading public. A central assumption of this volume is that Britain’s imperial past continues to play a key role in its representations of race, identity, and history. The insistent inclusion of questions relating to colonialism and power structures in recent children’s novels exposes the complexities and contradictions surrounding the fictional treatment of race relations and ethnicity. Postcolonial children’s literature in Britain has been inherently ambivalent since its cautious beginnings: it is both transgressive and authorizing, both undercutting and excluding. Grzegorczyk considers the ways in which children’s fictions have worked with and against particular ideologies of race. The texts analyzed in this collection portray ethnic minorities as complex, hybrid products of colonialism, global migrations, and the ideology of multiculturalism. By examining the ideological content of these novels, Grzegorczyk demonstrates the centrality of the colonial past to contemporary British writing for the young.
How did social, cultural and political events in Britain during the 2000s shape contemporary British fiction? The means of publishing, buying and reading fiction changed dramatically between 2000 and 2010. This volume explores how the socio-political and economic turns of the decade, bookended by the beginning of a millennium and an economic crisis, transformed the act of writing and reading. Through consideration of, among other things, the treatment of neuroscience, violence, the historical and youth subcultures in recent fiction, the essays in this collection explore the complex and still powerful relation between the novel and the world in which it is written, published and read. This major literary assessment of the fiction of the 2000s covers the work of newer voices such as Monica Ali, Mark Haddon, Tom McCarthy, David Peace and Zadie Smith as well as those more established, such as Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel and Ian McEwan making it an essential contribution to reading, defining and understanding the decade.
From the Teddy Boys of the post-war decade to the heroin chic of “Cool Britannia,” the many subcultures of Britain's teenagers have often been at the forefront of social change. Youth Culture and the Post-War British Novel is the first book to chart that history through the work of some of the most influential contemporary British writers. In this vivid work of cultural history, Stephen Ross explores: · The manic teenage vision of Absolute Beginners · The Angry Young Men of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning · Skinheads and Burgess's A Clockwork Orange · Irony and authenticity in the 1980s – from Amis to Kureishi · Heroin chic, disaffection and Trainspotting Examining the cultural contexts of some of the most important and popular post-1945 British novels, the book covers such themes as crises of masculinity, multiculturalism and inter-generational conflict, and in doing so casts new light on British writing today.
David Mitchell is one of the most critically acclaimed authors in contemporary global writing. Novels such as Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks demonstrate the author's dazzling literary technique in an oeuvre that crosses genres, genders and borders, moving effortlessly through time and space. David Mitchell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives brings together leading scholars of contemporary fiction to guide readers through the full range of the author's writings, including discussions of all of his novels to-date plus his shorter fictions, essays and libretti. As well as offering extended coverage of Mitchell's most popular work, Cloud Atlas, the authors explore Mitchell's genre-hopping techniques, world-making aesthetics, and engagements with key contemporary issues such as globalization, empire, the environment, disability, trauma and technology. In addition, this book includes an expansive interview with David Mitchell as well as a guide to further reading to help students and readers alike explore the works of this tremendously inventive writer.
By examining the representation of urban space in contemporary British fiction, this book argues that key to the political left's strategy was a model of action which folded politics into culture and elevated disenfranchisement to the status of a political principle.
Postmodernism and Race explores the question of how dramatic shifts in conceptions of race in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been addressed by writers at the cutting edge of equally dramatic transformations of literary form. An opening section engages with the broad question of how the geographical and political positioning of experimental writing informs its contribution to racial discourses, while later segments focus on central critical domains within this field: race and performativity, race and the contemporary nation, and postracial futures. With essays on a wide range of contemporary writers, including Bernadine Evaristo, Alasdair Gray, Jhumpa Lahiri, Andrea Levy, and Don DeLillo, this volume makes an important contribution to our understanding of the politics and aesthetics of contemporary writing.
This book examines representations of violence across the postcolonial world—from the Americas to Australia—in novels, short stories, plays, and films. The chapters move from what appear to be interpersonal instances of violence to communal conflicts such as civil war, showing how these acts of violence are specifically rooted in colonial forms of abuse and oppression but constantly move and morph. Taking its cue from theories in such fields as postcolonial, violence, gender, and trauma studies, the book thus shows that violence is slippery in form, but also fluid in nature, so that one must trace its movement across time and space to understand even a single instance of it. When analysing such forms and trajectories of violence in postcolonial creative writing and films, the contributors critically examine the ethical issues involved in narrating abuse, depicting violated bodies, and presenting romanticized resolutions that may conceal other forms of violence.
THE WILEY BLACKWELL COMPANION TO CONTEMPORARY BRITISH AND IRISH LITERATURE An insightful guide to the exploration of modern British and Irish literature The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature is a must-have guide for anyone hoping to navigate the world of new British and Irish writing. Including modern authors and poets from the 1960s through to the 21st century, the Companion provides a thorough overview of contemporary poetry, fiction, and drama by some of the most prominent and noteworthy writers. Seventy-three comprehensive chapters focus on individual authors as well as such topics as Englishness and identity, contemporary Science Fiction, Black writing in Britain, crime fiction, and the influence of globalization on British and Irish Literature. Written in four parts, The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature includes comprehensive examinations of individual authors, as well as a variety of themes that have come to define the contemporary period: ethnicity, gender, nationality, and more. A thorough guide to the main figures and concepts in contemporary literature from Britain and Ireland, this two-volume set: Includes studies of notable figures such as Seamus Heaney and Angela Carter, as well as more recently influential writers such as Zadie Smith and Sarah Waters. Covers topics such as LGBT fiction, androgyny in contemporary British Literature, and post-Troubles Northern Irish Fiction Features a broad range of writers and topics covered by distinguished academics Includes an analysis of the interplay between individual authors and the major themes of the day, and whether an examination of the latter enables us to appreciate the former. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature provides essential reading for students as well as academics seeking to learn more about the history and future direction of contemporary British and Irish Literature.
How did social, cultural and political events in Britain during the 1970s shape Contemporary British Fiction? Exploring the impact of events like the Cold War, miners' strikes and Winter of Discontent, this volume charts the transition of British fiction from post-war to contemporary. Chapters outline the decade's diversity of writing, showing how the literature of Ian McEwan and Ian Sinclair interacted with the experimental work of B.S. Johnson. Close contextual readings of Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and English novels map the steady break-up of Britain. Tying the popularity of Angela Carter and Fay Weldon to the growth of the Women's Liberation Movement and calling attention to a new interest in documentary modes of autobiographical writing, this volume also examines the rising resonance of the marginal voices: the world of 1970s British Feminist fiction and postcolonial and diasporic writers. Against a backdrop of social tensions, this major critical reassessment of the 1970s defines, explores and better understands the criticism and fiction of a decade marked by the sense of endings.