The Female Figure in Contemporary Historical Fiction

Author: Katherine Cooper,Emma Short

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 0230302785

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 241

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From The Other Boleyn Girl to Fingersmith, this collection explores the popularity of female-centred historical novels in recent years. Examining the female figure in these contemporary fictions, it looks at the ways in which authors intervene in the historical process to present these women, real and imagined. It asks how these representations are influenced by contemporary gender politics and whether they can be seen as part of a wider feminist project to recover women's history. Featuring chapters by newer scholars alongside established figures in the field such as Diana Wallace, as well as an interview with authors Susan Sellers and Alice Thompson, it engages with debates around history, literary value and the postmodern to illustrate the importance of these female figures.

21st Century US Historical Fiction

Contemporary Responses to the Past

Author: Ruth Maxey

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 3030418979

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 275

View: 1308

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This new collection examines important US historical fiction published since 2000. Exploring historical novels by established American writers such as Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, E.L. Doctorow, Chang-rae Lee, James McBride, Susan Choi, and George Saunders, the book also includes chapters on first-time novelists. Individual essays in 21st Century US Historical Fiction: Contemporary Responses to the Past tackle prominent and provocative new novels, for example, recent Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction by Anthony Doerr, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Colson Whitehead. Interrogating such key themes as war, race, sexuality, trauma and childhood; notions of genre and periodization; and recent theorizations of historical fiction, scholars from the United States, Canada, Britain and Ireland analyze an emerging canon of contemporary historical fiction by an ethno-racially diverse range of major American writers.

Writing Back Through Our Mothers

Author: Tegan Zimmerman

Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster

ISBN: 3643905602

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 5896

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For the first time in the literary tradition, the contemporary woman's historical novel (post-1970) is surveyed from a transnational feminist perspective. Analyzing the maternal (the genre's central theme) reveals that historical fiction is a transnational feminist means for challenging historical erasures, silences, normative sexuality, political exclusion, and divisions of labor. (Series: Contributions to Transnational Feminism - Vol. 5)

Virgin Envy

The Cultural Insignificance of the Hymen

Author: Jonathan A. Allan,Cristina Santos,Adriana Spahr

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1786990377

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 1618

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Virginity is of concern here, that is its utter messiness. At once valuable and detrimental, normative and deviant, undesirable and enviable. Virginity and its loss hold tremendous cultural significance. For many, female virginity is still a universally accepted condition, something that is somehow bound to the hymen, whereas male virginity is almost as elusive as the G-spot: we know it's there, it’s just we have a harder time finding it. Of course boys are virgins, queers are virgins, some people reclaim their virginities, and others reject virginity from the get go. So what if we agree to forget the hymen all together? Might we start to see the instability of terms like untouched, pure, or innocent? Might we question the act of sex, the very notion of relational sexuality? After all, for many people it is the sexual acts they don’t do, or don’t want to do, that carry the most abundant emotional clout. Virgin Envy is a collection of essays that look past the vestal virgins and beyond Joan of Arc. From medieval to present-day literature, the output of HBO, Bollywood, and the films of Abdellah Taïa or Derek Jarman to the virginity testing of politically active women in Tahrir Square, the writers here explore the concept of virginity in today’s world to show that ultimately virginity is a site around which our most basic beliefs about sexuality are confronted, and from which we can come to understand some of our most basic anxieties, paranoias, fears, and desires.

Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction

Diaries and Letters

Author: K. Brindle

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137007168

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 4870

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Neo-Victorian writers invoke conflicting viewpoints in diaries, letters, etc. to creatively retrace the past in fragmentary and contradictory ways. This book explores the complex desires involved in epistolary discoveries of 'hidden' Victorians, offering new insight into the creative synthesising of critical thought within the neo-Victorian novel.

Mobility and the Hotel in Modern Literature

Passing Through

Author: Emma Short

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3030221296

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 223

View: 461

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This book considers the complex ways in which the hotel functions to express the shifting experiences of modernity in the works of such authors as Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells, and Elizabeth Bowen. The text contributes to the critical debates on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature concerning space, movement, and mobility, arguing that the hotel reconfigures boundaries of modernist, middlebrow, and popular fiction. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical and analytical perspectives, the book provides a critical and cultural history of the hotel in British literature, charting its changing nature and usage from the mid-nineteenth century up until the interwar period.

History and the Contemporary Novel

Author: David Cowart

Publisher: SIU Press

ISBN: 9780809314799

Category: Fiction

Page: 245

View: 783

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Cowart presents a study of international historical fiction since World War II, with reflections on the affinities between historical and fictional narrative, analysis of the basic modes of historical fiction, and readings of a number of historical novels, including John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor, Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian, Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, D. M. Thomas’s The White Hotel, William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses, and Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. He proposes recognizing four modes of the historical novel: the past as a "distant mirror" of the present, fictions whose authors seek to pinpoint the precise historical moment when the modern age or some prominent feature of it came into existence, fictions whose authors aspire purely or largely to historical verisimilitude, and fictions whose authors reverse history to contemplate utopia and dystopia in the future. Thus, historical fiction can be organized under the rubrics: The Distant Mirror; The Turning Point; The Way It Was; and The Way It Will Be. This fourfold schema and his focus on postwar novels set Cowart’s work apart from previous studies, which have not devoted adequate space to the contemporary historical novel. Cowart argues that postwar historical fiction merits more extensive treatment because it is the product of an age unique in the annals of history—an age in which history itself may end.

The Return of the Storyteller in Contemporary Fiction

Author: Areti Dragas

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1623561949

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 1384

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Focusing on the figure of the storyteller, this study breaks new ground in the approach to reading contemporary literature by identifying a growing interest in storytelling. For the last thirty years contemporary fiction has been influenced by theoretical discourses, textuality and writing. Only since the rise of postcolonialism have academic critics been more overtly interested in stories, where high theory frameworks are less applicable. However, as we move through various contemporary contexts engaging with postcolonial identities and hybridity, to narratives of disability and evolutionary accounts of group and individual survival, a common feature of all is the centrality of story, which posits both the idea of survival and the passing on of traditions. This book closely examines this preoccupation with story and storytelling through a close reading of sixteen contemporary international novels written in English which are about actual 'storytellers', revealing how death of the author has given birth to the storyteller.

Inventing Eleanor

The Medieval and Post-Medieval Image of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Author: Michael R. Evans

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441146032

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 9194

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Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124-1204), queen of France and England and mother of two kings, has often been described as one of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. Yet her real achievements have been embellished--and even obscured--by myths that have grown up over eight centuries. This process began in her own lifetime, as chroniclers reported rumours of her scandalous conduct on crusade, and has continued ever since. She has been variously viewed as an adulterous queen, a monstrous mother and a jealous murderess, but also as a patron of literature, champion of courtly love and proto-feminist defender of women's rights. Inventing Eleanor interrogates the myths that have grown up around the figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine and investigates how and why historians and artists have invented an Eleanor who is very different from the 12th-century queen. The book first considers the medieval primary sources and then proceeds to trace the post-medieval development of the image of Eleanor, from demonic queen to feminist icon, in historiography and the broader culture.