Focuses on the novels published since 2000 by twenty major British novelists The Contemporary British Novel Since 2000 is in five parts, with the first part examining the work of four particularly well-known and highly regarded twenty-first century writers: Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, Hilary Mantel and Zadie Smith. It is with reference to each of these novelists in turn that the terms ‘realist’, ‘postmodernist’, ‘historical’ and ‘postcolonialist’ fiction are introduced, while in the remaining four parts, other novelists are discussed and the meaning of the terms amplified. From the start it is emphasised that these terms and others often mean different things to different novelists, and that the complexity of their novels often obliges us to discuss their work with reference to more than one of the terms. Also discusses the works of: Maggie O’Farrell, Sarah Hall, A.L. Kennedy, Alan Warner, Ali Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kate Atkinson, Salman Rushdie, Adam Foulds, Sarah Waters, James Robertson, Mohsin Hamid, Andrea Levy, and Aminatta Forna. ; The Contemporary British Novel Since 2000 examines 20 key novelists as well as introducing and applying the terms ‘realist’, ‘postmodernist’, ‘historical’ and ‘postcolonialist’ against them. ; Introduction, James Acheson; Part I: Four Voices for the New Millennium; 1. Ian McEwan: Lies and Deceptions, David Punter; 2. David Mitchell: Global Novelist of the Twenty-First Century, Brian Finney; 3. Hilary Mantel: Raising the Dead, Speaking the Truth, Lisa Fletcher; 4. Zadie Smith: The Geographies of Marriage, Gretchen Gerzina; Part II: Realism and Beyond; 5. Maggie O’Farrell: Discoveries at the Edge, Susan Strehle; 6. Sarah Hall: A New Kind of Story-Telling, Sue Vice; 7. A.L. Kennedy: Giving and Receiving, Alison Lumsden; 8. Alan Warner: Timeless Realities, Alan Riach; Part III: Postmodernism, Globalisation and Beyond; 9. Ali Smith: Strangers and Intrusions, Monica Germanà; 10. Kazuo Ishiguro: Alternate Histories, Daniel Bedggood; 11. Kate Atkinson: Plotting to Be Read, Glenda Norquay; 12. Salman Rushdie: Archival Modernism, Vijay Mishra; Part IV: Realism, Postmodernism and Beyond: Historical Fiction; 13. Adam Foulds: Fictions of Past and Present, Dominic Head; 14. Sarah Waters: Representing Marginal Groups and Individuals, Susana Onega; 15. James Robertson: In the Margins of History, Cairns Craig; Part V: Postcolonialism and Beyond; 16. Mohsin Hamid: The Transnational Novel of Globalisation, Janet Wilson; 17. Andrea Levy: The SS Empire Windrush and After, Sue Thomas; 18. Aminatta Forna: Truth, Trauma, Memory, Françoise Lionnet and Jennifer MacGregor.
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Editor James Acheson's latest selection of essays by leading scholars in the field, The Contemporary British Novel Since 2000, takes the reader forward from the point where his earlier collection, The Contemporary British Novel Since 1980, left off. Since the beginning of the century, indeed, a number of gifted British novelists have come to the fore, and the present volume deals with the most widely read and best known amongst them. By challenging the reader’s concept of what a novel should be like, these novelists are breaking new ground. In their readings of such works, James Acheson and his colleagues shed valuable light on a vibrant, ever-changing literary scene.
James Acheson is former Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is author of Samuel Beckett's Artistic Theory and Practice: Criticism, Drama, Early Fiction, and John Fowles, and is coeditor (with Sarah C.E. Ross) of The Contemporary British Novel Since 1980.