This book offers a critical study and analysis of American fiction at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It focuses on novels that ‘go outward’ literally and metaphorically, and it concentrates on narratives that take place mainly away from the US’s geographical borders.
Varvogli draws on current theories of travel globalization and post-national studies, and proposes a dynamic model that will enable scholars to approach contemporary American fiction and assess recent changes and continuities. Concentrating on work by Philip Caputo, Dave Eggers, Norman Rush and Russell Banks, the book proposes that American literature’s engagement with Africa has shifted and needs to be approached using new methodologies. Novels by Amy Tan, Garrison Keillor, Jonathan Safran Foer and Dave Eggers are examined in the context of travel and globalization, and works by Chang-rae Lee, Ethan Canin, Dinaw Mengestu and Jhumpa Lahiri are used as examples of the changing face of the American immigrant novel, and the changing meaning of national belonging.
Table of Contents
Contents Acknowledgements Introduction I: Africa and the Limits of Fiction 1: Philip Caputo, Acts Of Faith; Dave Eggers, What Is The What 2: Norman Rush, Mortals; Russell Banks, The Darling II: Travel And Globalization 3: Amy Tan, Saving Fish From Drowning; Garrison Keillor, Pilgrims 4: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated; Dave Eggers, You Shall Know Our Velocity III: Dislocation And/At Home 5: Chang-Rae Lee, A Gesture Life; Ethan Canin, Carry Me Across The Water 6: Dinaw Mengestu, How To Read The Air; Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake Bibliography Index
Aliki Varvogli is a lecturer in English at the University of Dundee. She has published books on Paul Auster and Annie Proulx, and several articles on contemporary American fiction. Her articles have appeared in The Journal of American Studies, Symbiosis, Atlantic Studies, Philip Roth Studies and other journals.
'Published as part of Routledge's Transnational Perspectives on American Literature, a series edited by Susan Castillo of works share a common interest in the cultural and linguistics permeability of the United States in the age of globalization, Travel and Dislocation in Contemporary American Fiction adds to this debate with nuanced readings of recent American fiction that come together to create a searching account of the plural nature of selves, nations and cultures at the start of the twenty-first century.' - Journal of American Studies