British Fiction of the 1990s
Edited By Nick Bentley Copyright 2006
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The 1990s proved to be a particularly rich and fascinating period for British fiction. This book presents a fresh perspective on the diverse writings that appeared over the decade, bringing together leading academics in the field. British Fiction of the 1990s:
- traces the concerns that emerged as central to 1990s fiction, in sections on millennial anxieties, identity politics, the relationship between the contemporary and the historical, and representations of contemporary space
- offers distinctive new readings of the most important novelists of the period, including Martin Amis, Beryl Bainbridge, Pat Barker, Julian Barnes, A.S. Byatt, Hanif Kureishi, Ian McEwan, Iain Sinclair, Zadie Smith and Jeanette Winterson
- shows how British fiction engages with major cultural debates of the time, such as the concern with representing various identities and cultural groups, or theories of ‘the end of history’
- discusses 1990s fiction in relation to broader literary and critical theories, including postmodernism, post-feminism and postcolonialism.
Together the essays highlight the ways in which the writing of the 1990s represents a development of the themes and styles of the post-war novel generally, yet displays a range of characteristics distinct to the decade.
Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements Introduction: Mapping the Millennium: Themes and Trends in Contemporary British Fiction Nick Bentley Part 1: Millennial Anxieties 1. From Excess to New World Order Fred Botting 2. ‘Refugees from Time’: History, Death and the Flight from Reality in Contemporary Writing Andrzej Gasiorek 3. Science and Fiction in the 1990s Patricia Waugh 4. British Science Fiction in the 1990s: Politics and Genre Roger Luckhurst Part 2: Identity at the Fin de Siécle 5. The McReal Thing: Personal/National Identity in Julian Barnes’s England, England Sarah Henstra 6. Cyberspace and the Body: Jeanette Winterson’s The PowerBook Sonya Andermahr 7. ‘Fascinating Violation’: Ian McEwan’s Children Peter Childs 8. 'Tongues of bone': A.L. Kennedy and the Problems of Articulation Helen Stoddart Part 3: Historical Fictions 9. Mr Wroe’s Virgins: the ‘Other Victorians’ and Recent Fiction B.E. Maidment 10. Pat Barker’s Vanishing Boundaries Lynda Prescott 11. Singular Events: the ‘as if’ of Beryl Bainbridge’s Every Man for Himself Fiona Becket Part 4: Narrative Geographies 12. Iain Sinclair’s Millennial Fiction: The Example of Slow Chocolate Autopsy Julian Wolfreys 13. Hedgemony: Suburban Space in The Buddha of Suburbia Susan Brook 14. Iain Sinclair: The Psychotic Geographer Treads the Borderlines Peter Brooker