New Research in Contemporary American Literature

By | August 29, 2013

Lots of new research in Contemporary American Literature from Bloomsbury Literary Studies!  Check out some of our recent titles:

American Fiction in Transition: Observer-Hero Narrative, the 1990s, and Postmodernism is a study of the observer-hero narrative. Through the lens of this transitional genre, the book explores the 1990s in relation to debates about the end of postmodernism, and connects the decade to other transitional periods in US literature

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American Fiction in Transition is a major contribution to the understanding of a recent period in American literature. Lucid and engaging, Adam Kelly combines close reading with a deep attention to questions of historical, cultural, and political context. Refuting the opposition between formalism and historicism, Kelly breaks new ground in literary studies, and shows how detailed attention to texts can illuminate seminal philosophical and political questions. This debut by a compelling new voice is an event not to be missed.”
Martin Hägglund, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University, USA

Price: £55.00 / $100.00

Political Initiation in the Novels of Philip Roth exemplifies how literature and, specifically, the work of Philip Roth can help readers understand the ways in which individuals develop their political identity, learn to comprehend political ideas, and define their role in society. Combining political science, literary theory, and anthropology, the book describes an individual's political coming of age as a political initiation story, which is crafted as much by the individual himself as by the circumstances influencing him, such as political events or the political attitude of the parents.

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“Exceedingly well researched, Political Initiation in the Novels of Philip Roth covers a wide range of Roth’s novels and the intertexts within them. Putting this fiction into conversation with predominant thinking in the social sciences, Brühwiler’s work not only serves as a model for Roth studies, but also as a model for interdisciplinary research overall.”
–  Aimee Pozorski, Associate Professor, Central Connecticut State University, USA, and President of the Philip Roth Society

Price: £60.00 / $110.0

The idea of the "outside" as a space of freedom has always been central in the literature of the United States. This concept still remains active in contemporary American fiction; however, its function is being significantly changed. Outside, America: The Temporal Turn in Contemporary American Fiction argues that, among contemporary American novelists, a shift of focus to the temporal dimension is taking place. No longer a spatial movement, the quest for the outside now seeks to reach the idea of time as a force of difference, a la Deleuze, by which the current subjectivity is transformed. In other words, the concept is taking a "temporal turn."

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Hikaru Fujii’s Outside, America The Temporal Turn in Contemporary American Fiction is judicious, informed, perspicacious, and eye-opening. Meriting attention from both academics and the larger community of readers who value and appreciate illuminating criticism, it is a valuable contribution to our understanding of contemporary American fiction’s achievements and prospects.”

–  David Cowart, Lousie Fry Scudder Professor of English, University of South Carolina, USA

Price: £55.00 / $100.00

While critics collect around the question of what comes "after postmodernism," Succeeding Postmodernism: Language and Humanism in Contemporary American Literature asks something different about recent American fiction: what if we are seeing not the end of postmodernism but its belated success? Succeeding Postmodernism examines how novels by DeLillo, Wallace, Danielewski, Foer and others conceptualize threats to individuals and communities posed by a poststructural culture of mediation and simulation, and possible ways of resisting the disaffected solipsism bred by that culture.

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“Mary Holland's Succeeding Postmodernism offers a marvelously astute and insightful argument about what she calls a ‘new humanism,’ a re-assertion of values that matter and inform the struggles articulated in contemporary fictions. Far from naiveté, this is a kind of humanism that takes full account of the anti-humanist tendencies of poststructuralism and yet resolutely insists on the potentiality of language to intervene in meaningful ways in our lives. For scholars of the contemporary period, this is an important text not only to read but also to consider assigning for classes.”
–  N. Katherine Hayles, Professor of Literature and Director of Graduate Studies, Duke University, USA

Price: £60.00 / $110.00

Terrorism and Temporality in the Works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo starts from a simple premise: that the events of the 11th of September 2001 must have had a major effect on two New York residents, and two of the seminal authors of American letters, Pynchon and DeLillo. By examining implicit and explicit allusion to these events in their work, it becomes apparent that both consider 9/11 a crucial event, and that it has profoundly impacted their work. From this important point, the volume focuses on the major change identifiable in both author's work; a change in the perception, and conception, of time. Engaging with several theories of time, and their reiteration and examination in both authors work, this volume contributes both to the understanding of literary time, and to the work of Pynchon and DeLillo.

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“James Gourley has made an important contribution to our understanding of the work of two of the most important and most demanding of contemporary American novelists…Tracing some of the influences on these two writers, including Marinetti, Beckett and Proust, and drawing on relevant theoretical arguments, Gourley offers a fresh and illuminating account of their fiction before and after the attack.”
–  Derek Attridge, FBA, Professor of English, University of York, USA

Price: £60.00 / $110.00

In Henry Miller: The Inhuman Artist: A Philosophical Inquiry, Männiste argues that it is possible to reconstruct a coherent philosophical theory from the works of the American writer Henry Miller (1891-1980). It is demonstrated that this philosophy, as a metaphysical sense of life, forms a system the understanding of which is necessary to adequately explain even some of the most basic of Miller's ideas. Building upon his notion of the inhuman artist, Miller's philosophical foundation is revealed through his literary attacks against the metaphysical design of the modern age.

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“Written with diligence and precision, Männiste's exploration of an overriding philosophy in the work of Henry Miller addresses an important aspect of twentieth-century Modernism. More than a reading of Miller's seminal works, this study presents a panorama of the intersections between art, philosophy and aesthetics; an invaluable read for both Miller fans and readers interested in the history of ideas.”
–  Caroline Blinder, Lecturer in English and American Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, and author of A Self-Made Surrealist: Ideology and Aesthetics in the Work of Henry Miller

Price: £60.00 / $110.00

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