Provides a synoptic view of the exuberant and challenging fiction, poetry and drama created in 1990s Britain Placing literary creativity within a changing cultural and political context that saw the end of Margaret Thatcher and rise of New Labour, this book offers fresh interpretations of mainstream and marginal works from all parts of Britain. Based on a framework of thematically-structured account, the individual chapters cover national identity, ethnicity, sexuality, class, celebrity culture, history and fantasy in literature from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. It offers its readers a comprehensive view of the changing and challenging literary landscape in this period, critically examining the fiction, poetry and drama as well as representative films, art and music. Placed within the broader context of a transformative political and cultural environment that included Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, Damian Hirst and Princess Diana, the book captures the energetic and sometimes provocative experimentation that typified the final decade of the twentieth century. Key Features Considers a wide-ranging assortment of fiction, poetry, drama and film of the 1990s within the broader political and cultural context of Great Britain Supplies a thematically oriented account of major aspects of contemporary literature, including ethnicity, class, celebrity and speculative work Deals with literature from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, both in relation to each other and within the larger cultural environment of Great Britain Presents a theoretically informed argument integrated with close critical analyses of mainstream and marginal texts ; Placing literary creativity within a changing cultural and political context that saw the end of Margaret Thatcher and rise of New Labour, this book offers fresh interpretations of mainstream and marginal works from all parts of Britain. ; Introduction: Beginnings and Endings; 1. United Kingdom?; 2. New Ethnicities; 3. Love in the Nineties; 4. Class Resilience; 5. Celebrity Culture; 6. Rewriting the Past; 7. Fantasiecle; Conclusion: Endings and Beginnings.
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In this stylish and piercingly insightful survey of 90s writing, Peter Marks conveys the shock of the no longer new. A period takes shape in his pages that is no longer ours and that we may care about more, and differently, because, as he shows so well, it has its own explosive and eccentric coherence.
- Bruce Robbins, Columbia University
Peter Marks is Professor of English at the University of Sydney.