1st Edition

British Fiction of the 1990s

Edited By Nick Bentley Copyright 2006
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

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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


    Nick Bentley, the editor of this volume, lectures in English at Keele University and is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, UK. His main research interests are in post-1950s British literature and literary theory.