The Contemporary British Novel
James Acheson and Sarah C. E. Ross
An increasingly complex contemporary world has given rise to increasingly complex contemporary novels – novels that students in schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities around the world often find daunting. The novels themselves, as well as the reviewers, scholars and others who discuss them, frequently invoke views of the world, ideologies and theories that can baffle; for those who write about contemporary fiction are not always clear what they mean by key terms like ‘realism’, ‘postcolonialism’, ‘feminism’ and ‘postmodernism’. The Contemporary British Novel seeks to define (or identify the problems involved in defining) these terms not just for students, but for teachers and interested members of the reading public; and it reveals the extent to which the practice of twenty-two leading British novelists embodies, exemplifies, modifies or rejects the theories that these terms represent. In recognition of the fact that novels often embody combinations of realism, postcolonialism, feminism and postmodernism, and include other ‘-isms’ as well, the collection is divided into four parts, each devoted to one of the four major ‘-isms’, yet each admitting other ‘-isms’ into the discussion of the novelists concerned.
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