The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction

The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction

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Postmodern fiction presents a challenge to the reader: instead of enjoying it passively, the reader has to work to understand its meanings, to think about what fiction is, and to question their own responses. Yet this very challenge makes postmodern writing so much fun to read and rewarding to study. Unlike most introductions to postmodernism and fiction, this book places the emphasis on literature rather than theory. It introduces the most prominent British and American novelists associated with postmodernism, from the 'pioneers', Beckett, Borges and Burroughs, to important post-war writers such as Pynchon, Carter, Atwood, Morrison, Gibson, Auster, DeLillo, and Ellis. Designed for students and clearly written, this Introduction explains the preoccupations, styles and techniques that unite postmodern authors. Their work is characterized by a self-reflexive acknowledgement of its status as fiction, and by the various ways in which it challenges readers to question common-sense and commonplace assumptions about literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 148 x 232 x 18mm | 498.95g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0521861578
  • 9780521861571
  • 1,590,947

Table of contents

Preface: reading postmodern fiction; 1. Postmodern fiction: theory and practice; 2. Early postmodern fiction: Beckett, Borges, and Burroughs; 3. 1960s and 1970s US metafiction: Coover, Barth, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Pynchon; 4. The postmodern historical novel: Fowles, Barnes, Swift; 5. Postmodern-postcolonial fiction; 6. Postmodern fiction by women: Carter, Atwood, Acker; 7. Two postmodern genres: cyberpunk and 'metaphysical' detective fiction; 8. Fiction of the 'postmodern condition': Ballard, DeLillo, Ellis; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'Nicol's continuously readable Introduction is a valuable work of reference and one which many students will find helpful.' Notes and Queries
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About Bran Nicol

Bran Nicol is a Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Portsmouth.
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38 ratings
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