The Working Class and Twenty-First-Century British Fiction: Deindustrialisation, Demonisation, Resistance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Working Class and Twenty-First-Century British Fiction

Deindustrialisation, Demonisation, Resistance, 1st Edition

By Phil O'Brien


208 pages

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Hardback: 9780367441487
pub: 2019-12-19
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The Working Class and Twenty-First-Century British Fiction looks at how the twenty-first-century British novel has explored contemporary working-class life. Studying the works of David Peace, Gordon Burn, Anthony Cartwright, Ross Raisin, Jenni Fagan, and Sunjeev Sahota, the book shows how they have mapped the shift from deindustrialisation through to stigmatization of individuals and communities who have experienced profound levels of destabilization and unemployment. O'Brien argues that these novels offer ways of understanding fundamental aspects of contemporary capitalism for the working class in modern Britain, including, class struggle, inequality, trauma, social abjection, racism, and stigmatization, exclusively looking at British working-class literature of the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Class, Culture, Politics

Part One: Mapping Deindustrialisation

Chapter One: David Peace and the Strike Novel: Conflict, History, Knowledge

Chapter Two: Gordon Burn and Working-Class Nostalgia: Region, Form, Commodification

Chapter Three: Anthony Cartwright and the Deindustrial Novel: Realism, Place, Class


Part Two: Resisting Demonisation

Chapter Four: Ross Raisin and Class Mourning: Masculinity, Work, Precarity

Chapter Five: Jenni Fagan and the Revolting Class: Gender, Stigma, Resistance

Chapter Six: Sunjeev Sahota and the Racialised Worker: Class, Race, Violence


Conclusion: Class Matters

About the Author

Philip O'Brien is an Associate Lecturer and Research Assistant at the University of Manchester.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Contemporary Literature

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 21st Century
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes