1st Edition

Neoliberalism and the Novel

Edited By Emily Johansen, Alissa Karl Copyright 2017
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    The novel form has long been connected to modern capitalism and is, arguably, the literary genre most prominently enmeshed in contemporary global markets. Yet, as many critics have suggested about capital, something has changed in the last forty years. With the rise of neoliberalism as the dominant global economic rationality and mode of governance, the experience of capital has produced new ways of seeing and relating to the world, leading, as David Harvey observes, to "the financialization of everything". The novel, indexed to capital in myriad ways, then, must similarly have been transformed.

    Neoliberalism and the Novel investigates both those changes wrought to the novel form by changing arrangements of capital, and the novel’s broader engagement with neoliberalism itself. The chapters in this book consider these questions from a variety of angles, attending to the way in which the neoliberal novel deploys familiar generic patterns as a site from which to offer critique; examining the changing operation of labour and time under neoliberalism and its effect on novel form; and offering a broader call for new reading and interpretative practices to respond to changing socio-economic realities. This book was originally published as a special issue of Textual Practice.

    Introduction: reading and writing the economic present Emily Johansen and Alissa G. Karl

    1. The betrayals of neoliberalism in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy Emily S. Davis

    2. Margaret Atwood’s dystopic fiction and the contradictions of neoliberal freedom Chris Vials

    3. Neoliberalism and the limits of the human: Rawi Hage’s Cockroach Kit Dobson

    4. Reading alongside the market: affect and mobility in contemporary American migrant fiction Pieter Vermeulen

    5. The banal conviviality of neoliberal cosmopolitanism Emily Johansen

    6. Managed risk and the lure of transparency in Anglophone African detective noir Matthew J. Christensen

    7. The zero hour of the neoliberal novel Alissa G. Karl

    8. Neoliberalism and the time of the novel Mathias Nilges


    Emily Johansen is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA. Her book, Cosmopolitanism and Place: Spatial Forms in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, was released in 2014. She has written recent articles for Critique, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Textual Practice.

    Alissa G. Karl is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York, Brockport, NY, USA. Her research investigates the economic histories and imaginaries that impact the production and form of modern and contemporary literature and culture, and has appeared in such venues as American Literature, Novel, Modern Fiction Studies, and Textual Practice.