The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 8, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 220 pages
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Postmodern fiction presents a challenge to the reader: instead of enjoying it passively, the reader has to work to understand its meanings, to think about what fiction is, and to question their own responses. Yet this very challenge makes postmodern writing so much fun to read and rewarding to study. Unlike most introductions to postmodernism and fiction, this book places the emphasis on literature rather than theory. It introduces the most prominent British and American novelists associated with postmodernism, from the 'pioneers', Beckett, Borges and Burroughs, to important post-war writers such as Pynchon, Carter, Atwood, Morrison, Gibson, Auster, DeLillo, and Ellis. Designed for students and clearly written, this Introduction explains the preoccupations, styles and techniques that unite postmodern authors. Their work is characterized by a self-reflexive acknowledgement of its status as fiction, and by the various ways in which it challenges readers to question common-sense and commonplace assumptions about literature.
 

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Contents

Poststructuralism postmodernism and the real
6
What postmodern fiction does
39
Samuel Beckett
52
William Burroughs
65
Coover Barth
72
Kurt Vonnegut SlaughterhouseFive
86
Graham Swift Waterland
112
Toni Morrison Beloved
127
Kathy Acker
156
Detective fiction
171
Fiction of the postmodern
184
Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho
197
Index
215
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About the author (2009)

Bran Nicol is a Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Portsmouth.

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