Armelle Parey
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Re-imagining the war in Life After Life, A God in Ruins and Transcription
in Kate Atkinson
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This chapter contends that Atkinson’s three historical novels display a ‘fresh commitment to what we might call the reality of history’ (Peter Boxall) when the past is rendered through specific innovative ways marked by hybridity that combine self-consciousness with a sense of realism and immersion that draw the reader in the novel. This chapter examines Life After Life as a forking-path narrative that renews the historical novel and invites a reflexion on the representation of the past. A God in Ruins is analysed as a companion novel to Life After Life that brings into focus issues of memory and oblivion. Finally, this chapter considers how Transcription revisits the spy genre and its theme of secrecy.

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