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Twenty-First-Century Fiction
A Critical Introduction


  • Date Published: August 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521187299

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About the Authors
  • The widespread use of electronic communication at the dawn of the twenty-first century has created a global context for our interactions, transforming the ways we relate to the world and to one another. This critical introduction reads the fiction of the past decade as a response to our contemporary predicament – one that draws on new cultural and technological developments to challenge established notions of democracy, humanity, and national and global sovereignty. Peter Boxall traces formal and thematic similarities in the novels of contemporary writers including Don DeLillo, Margaret Atwood, J. M. Coetzee, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, W. G. Sebald and Philip Roth, as well as David Mitchell, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers, Ali Smith, Amy Waldman and Roberto Bolaño. In doing so, Boxall maps new territory for scholars, students and interested readers of today's literature by exploring how these authors narrate shared cultural life in the new century.

    • Offers the first full-length account of the development of the twenty-first-century novel
    • Engages with writers from around the world, rather than working within any national or anglophone tradition
    • Draws on a wide range of critical and cultural theory to inform its readings of contemporary novelists
    • Written in an engaging and accessible style, without simplifying its arguments
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a compelling reading of 21st-century novels … this is a refreshingly current and theoretically nuanced study. Boxall makes a persuasive and always readable case for contemporary fiction in relation to its social, cultural, and political contexts … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' J. Young, Choice

    '… a timely and highly welcome contribution to this slowly emerging field of twenty-first-century studies.' Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies

    'In Twenty-First-Century Fiction … Boxall traverses a vast terrain, offering compelling close readings of more than a dozen novelists and connecting them with dozens more from around the world. His prose is lush and lyrical, his readings subtle and intellectually demanding. Sentence by sentence, both books are pleasure-reads for anyone who cares deeply about literary criticism.' Andrew Lanham, Notes and Queries

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521187299
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Introduction: twenty-first-century fiction
    1. Late culture in the early twenty-first century
    2. Inheriting the past: literature and historical memory in the twenty-first century
    3. The limits of the human
    4. A curious knot: terrorism, radicalism, the avant-garde
    5. Sovereignty, democracy, globalization

  • Author

    Peter Boxall, University of Sussex
    Peter Boxall is Professor of English at the University of Sussex. He has published widely on modern and contemporary literature, including the recent books Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction (2006), Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism (2009) and 1001 Books You Must Read before You Die, 5th edition (2012).

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