Contemporary British Fiction
Contemporary British Fiction: History and the Present provides critical insights into fiction?s interventions in the remaking of British culture in the period of rapid and radical political, economic and cultural changes after the 1960s. These transformations have juxtaposed a sense of belonging and increasing alienation in a society where the predominant white colour is merging into different shades of humanity, within the reality of mass-scale immigration.The book contains critical readings of some of the leading British novelists. Changed political atmosphere in the post-empire and post-war era, and newly emergent social plurality have, as the editors argue in the Introduction, foregrounded the awareness of postcolonial anxieties, nostalgia and the multicultural nature of the English society. Scholars like Jasbir Jain, Prafulla C. Kar, R.K. Kaul, Sudha Rai, Rajul Bhargava, Veena Singh, Santosh Gupta, Mini Nanda, Joya Chakravarty, and Preeti Bhatt explore the themes of history, problems of (un)belonging among the native and non-native writers, form and meaning, values and structures, in the works of Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, Caryl Phillips, and Angus Wilson. The rewriting of ancient phallocentric myths by women writers, and the popularity of children?s literature, has been explored as also the defining of the self, which requires new strategies of reading, writing and new locations within the cultural space. Subversive techniques and language in the works of Angela Carter, Muriel Spark, A.S. Byatt, Mich?le Roberts, Margaret Drabble, Doris Lessing and J.K. Rowling reflect the destabilizing impact of such works. Popular visual forms like film also interpret the changing emotional attitudes towards history-past and the present. The essays focus on texts that have already become canonical in modern literature. It is hoped that these new readings will open up new discussion, dialogue and further interpretations.
Publication Date: 1/1/2007