This first book-length study of Kate Atkinson’s multifaceted œuvre is a comprehensive introductory overview of her novels, play and stories. It situates Atkinson’s literary production in terms of an aesthetics of hydridity that appropriates and re-combines well-known genres (coming-of-age novel, detective fiction, historical novel) and narrative techniques. This book explores the singularity and significance of Atkinson’s complex narratives that engage the reader in contemporary issues and insight into human concerns through a study of the major aspects and themes that tie in her work (the combination of tradition and innovation, the relationship to the collective and personal past, to history and memory, all impregnated with humour and a feminist standpoint). It pursues a broadly chronological line through Atkinson’s literary career from Behind the Scenes at the Museum to Big Sky, the latest instalment in the Brodie sequence, through the celebrated Life After Life and subsequent re-imaginings of the war. Alongside the well-known novels, the book includes a discussion of her less-studied play and collection of short stories. Chapters combine the study of formal issues such as narrative structure, perspective and point of view with thematic analyses.
ultimate danger that men might no longer be visually distinct from
women, since clothing and adornment can obscure biological difference’. 21 Although the widow certainly embodies
the very worst fears of husbands as portrayed in anti-feministliterature, her dress does
not necessarily invoke the blurring of gender lines in the anticipated manner. Instead she
co-opts distinctly masculine expressions to veer her discussion of garments in the opposite
direction, as will be explored further below.
Schroude has another
, Kingston’s evocation of sea-nature emerges as a eulogistic celebration of both place and species. Ultimately, Kingston reaches a point at the end of this lengthy description where she is able to say that ‘a new climate helps me to see nature’ ( HOS , p. 37).
Many elements of the piece echo the descriptions of eco-feministliterature as described by Gretchen T. Legler above. Creatures of nature are not only anthropomorphised but named (Kingston’s son has a pet crab named ‘Linda’); the connection between humanity and nature is emphasised through
‘decidedly Jewish’ (Roth 2001a: 75).
When Krasnik describes The Plot Against America as ‘Roth’s great
Jewish history’, however, Roth launches into a tirade:
Jewish? . . . It’s my most American book. It’s about America. About
America . . . I don’t accept that I write Jewish-American fiction. I don’t
buy that nonsense about black literature or feministliterature. Those are
labels made to strengthen some political agenda. (Roth 2005: 14–15)
If, earlier in his career, Roth saw (or claimed to see) no tension between
the identities designated by the
theatrical and anthropologically charged gesture of lifting little Walter in the air, proclaiming him ‘ the Heir of Limmeridge ’. 38
Following a very common move in much feministliterature, Sontag is forced to transform her reading of the text into a proof of the progress made since by women; commenting on ‘the anomalies and contradictions of a dream’ used to describe the narrator’s discomfort in seeing Marian, she writes: ‘The contradiction in the order of sexual stereotypes may seem dreamlike to a well-adjusted inhabitant of an era in which
Manchester’s mixed-genre anthologies and short-story collections
(“It is so real!” she exclaimed) having lived most of
my life in England. It was from my childhood memories on writing about
33 Academics in the UK, for example, organized themselves into groups such
as the Marxist-FeministLiterature Collective and LTP (Literature,
Teaching, Politics) which published radical, co-authored books, articles
34 In the process of setting up the ‘Moving Manchester’ project, we consulted
3970 Postcolonial Manchester:Layout 1
with long-serving literature
The Love Medicine tetralogy and Tales of Burning Love
Native literature on the one hand (Quehenberger-Dobbs 1996; Sergi 1992), whether or not we prioritise the oral tale implicit in both the wives’ stories and the impermanent marks; and to feministliterature on the other. These told tales are the binding agent of the newly created communitas – a reforged community. But secondly, there is a broader claim here for the fluidity of text itself; for the understanding of written narrative not as fixed but as equally part and parcel of the mutable nature of communication. This moment in Tales essentially grounds the nuances