This book offers to delineate a key phenomenon in contemporary Anglophone fiction: novel expansion, when the plot and characters from a finished novel are retrieved to be developed in new adventures set before, after or during the narrative time of the source-text. If autographic and allographic sequels are almost as old as literature, prequels – that imagine the anteriority of a narrative – and coquels – that develop secondary characters in the same story time as the source-text – are more recent. The overall trend for novel expansion spread in the mid-1980s and 1990s and has since shown no sign of abating.
This volume is organised following three types of relationships to the source-texts even if these occasionally combine to produce a more complex structure. This book comprises 11 essays, preceded by an introduction, that examine narrative strategies, aesthetic, ethical and political tendencies underlying these novel expansions. Following the overview provided in the introduction, the reader will find case studies of prequels, coquels and sequels before a final chapter that encompasses them all and more.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Narrative expansions - The Story So Far...
1 Prequel Ontology and Temporality: The Thresholds of John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius
2 "Wide Sargasso Sea as a Prequel to Jane Eyre: From Visuality to Iconicity" (1966)
3 Literary Filiations and Textual Archeology: Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child
4 A Coquel Set ‘far away, where the fighting was’: On Geraldine Brooks’ March and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women"
5 Servants with a Voice in Jo Baker’s Longbourn, a Coquel to Pride and Prejudice
6 Sensibly Organized: Filling in Gaps with Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
7 The Neighborly Mr. Ripley: Patricia Highsmith’s Suburban Sequels
8 Julian Barnes and the Contemporary English Sequel
9 Messy Multiplicity: Strategies for Serialisation in New Adult Fiction
10 P. D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley (2011), a Sequel with Many Twists
Prequels, Coquels, Sequels and Beyond
11 Uncanny Repetitions: The Generative Power of the "Reader, I Married Him" Mantra in Tracy Chevalier’s Anthology of Short Stories
List of Contributors
Armelle Parey is assistant professor at the University of Caen-Normandie, France. She has published a number of articles on narrative endings, memory and rewritings of the past in contemporary English-speaking fiction. She has co-edited collections of essays and guest-edited special issues on the question of narrative closure in fiction and film: Re-Writing Jane Eyre (La Revue LISA 4.4, 2006); Happy Endings and Films (Houdiard, 2010); Literary Happy Endings, Closure for Sunny Imaginations (Shaker Verlag, 2012); L’Inachevé ou l’ère des possibles dans la littérature anglophone, Récits ouverts et incomplets (Presses Universitaires de Caen, 2014); Character Migration in Anglophone Literature (E-rea 13.1, 2015). She is currently co-editing a collection on screen adaptations of literary endings. She has also guest-edited with Isabelle Roblin: A.S. Byatt, Before and after Possession: Recent Critical Approaches (Book Practices and Textual Itineraries 8, Presses Universitaires de Nancy-Editions de Lorraine, 2017).