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Rachel Sykes

2 ‘9/11’ and the noise of contemporary fiction In November 2013, Manhattan resident Kenny Cummings sent an email of inquiry to his local newspaper. ‘Have you ever heard from neighbors about the wailing World Trade Center?’, he wrote, claiming that an ‘eerie sound’ could be heard a couple of blocks away from the newly constructed building of One World Trade Center.1 When the email was published, many Tribeca residents confirmed that the sound was real by posting comments and uploading videos of the tower’s ‘wailing’ to YouTube. ‘It’s all the screams of those

in The quiet contemporary American novel
Open Access (free)

This is a comprehensive and definitive study of the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson. It offers lucid, detailed and nuanced readings of each of Jacobson’s novels, and makes a powerful case for the importance of his work in the landscape of contemporary fiction. Focusing on the themes of comedy, masculinity and Jewishness, the book emphasises the richness and diversity of Jacobson’s work. Often described by others as ‘the English Philip Roth’ and by himself as ‘the Jewish Jane Austen’, Jacobson emerges here as a complex and often contradictory figure: a fearless novelist; a combative public intellectual; a polemical journalist; an unapologetic elitist and an irreverent outsider; an exuberant iconoclast and a sombre satirist. Never afraid of controversy, Jacobson tends to polarise readers; but, love him or hate him, he is difficult to ignore. This book gives him the thorough consideration and the balanced evaluation that he deserves.

Postmemory in contemporary British war fiction

This study applies the concept of postmemory, developed in Holocaust studies, to novels by contemporary British writers. The first monograph-length study of postmemory in British fiction, it focuses on a group of texts about the World Wars. Building upon current work on historical fiction, specifically historiographical metafiction and memory studies, this work extends this field by exploring the ways in which the use of historical research within fiction illuminates the ways in which we remember and recreate the past.

Using the framework of postmemory to consider the evolutionary development of historiographical metafiction, Alden provides a ground-breaking analysis of the nature and potential of contemporary historical fiction, and the relationship between postmemory and ‘the real’. As well as asking how postmemory can unlock the significance of the transgenerational aspects of these novels, this study also analyses how authors use historical research in their work and demonstrates, on a very concrete level, the ways in which we remember and recreate the past. Tracing the ‘translation’ of source material as it moves from historical record to historical fiction, Alden offers a taxonomy of the uses of the past in contemporary historical fiction, analysing the ways in which authors adopt, adapt, appropriate, elide, augment, edit and transpose elements found such material. Asking to what extent such writing is, necessarily metafictional, and what motivates the decisions these novelists make about their use of the past, the study offers an updated answer to the question historical fiction has always posed: what can fiction do with history that history cannot?

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Robert Duggan

intertextual intoxication and Litt’s subversive take on familiar genres. My purpose is to trace the way in which these quite different approaches to writing contemporary fiction have their roots in the tradition and discourse of the grotesque, and thus to use the grotesque to shed light on the tangled system of connection between these writers. There are a number of reasons why these specific authors were chosen, the most obvious being the closeness of the family resemblances between them. There is a network of influences, including Rabelais, Swift, Kafka and Thomas Mann

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
Passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
Sinéad Moynihan

focuses on contemporary fiction that deploys passing plots in order to consider the act of writing. In other words, it extends Bennett’s analysis by examining texts that invoke passing at both a narrative and meta-narrative level in order to reflect upon the politics of the literary marketplace. Indeed, in his recent work on African American writers and white publishers, John K. Young implicitly makes this connection when he claims that The American publishing industry … has historically inscribed a mythologized version of the ‘black

in Passing into the present
Robert Burgoyne

past. In particular, I will focus on the most contested and controversial area of contemporary fiction cinema’s representation of the past – the use of documentary images as a mode of imaginative reconstruction or re-enactment. The shift from documentary images being understood as the trace of the past, as something left behind by a past event, to something available for imaginative and poetic

in Memory and popular film
The new Irish multicultural fiction
Amanda Tucker

supportive environment for those outside its cultural centre. Finally we return to Paddy Indian, which offers one of the most complex representations of multiculturalism in contemporary fiction in Ireland. In particular, Madhavan skilfully uses humour to address the complicated and sometimes contradictory nature of Irish responses to cultural difference. Homi Bhabha asserts that humour can function as a ‘minority speech-act’ that creates new affiliations between dominant and marginalised communities and, at the same time, offers space to critique both groups (1998: xxvi

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
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European displays of natural history and anatomy and nineteenth-century literature
Laurence Talairach-Vielmas

as well as contrasting the wild and the civilised – Britishness and foreign otherness/exotic degeneracy – reaching far beyond European frontiers. Shelley’s Frankenstein , as an early nineteenth-century example, may, indeed, record how the various forms of nature collected, recreated and exhibited in natural history cabinets impacted contemporary fiction. Frankenstein’s creature is compared to a mummy at the opening and the end of the novel: ‘A mummy again endued with animation could not be hideous as that wretch

in Interventions
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Transporting Chaucer
Helen Barr

devotional irregularity.16 Chaucer’s writing occupies a recognisable place in this blurring of boundaries between historical materiality, scriptural history and contemporary fictions. As in The Book of Margery Kempe, it is hard to separate confections of the author and ‘somebody else’, and it is difficult to tell text from voice. But those confusions are differently inflected from those encountered in Kempe. In Chaucer’s writings, it is Chaucer as author who reads between the lines. Chaucer transports textual versions of his own body in and amongst those other fictional

in Transporting Chaucer
Maëlle Jeanniard du Dot

). Mathews , Peter D. ( 2020 ). ‘ Hacking the Society of Control: The Fiction of Hari Kunzru ’. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction , 62 : 5 , 1 – 11 . Mattin , David ( 2011 ). ‘ My Revolutions, by Hari Kunzru ’, Independent , 18

in Hari Kunzru