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Reading the Novel in English 1950 - 2000

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0113-4
276 pages
September 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Reading the Novel in English 1950 - 2000 (140510113X) cover image

  • Written in clear, jargon-free prose, this introductory text charts the variety of novel writing in English in the second half of the twentieth century.
  • An engaging introduction to the English-language novel from 1950-2000 (exclusive of the US).
  • Provides students both with strategies for interpretation and with fresh readings of selected seminal texts.
  • Maps out the most important contexts and concepts for understanding this fiction.
  • Features readings of ten influential English-language novels including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
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Acknowledgements.

Preface.

1. Introduction: Contexts and Concepts for Reading the Novel in English, 1950-2000.

2. Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1953).

3. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954).

4. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958).

5. Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961).

6. Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1966).

7. J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians (1980).

8. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).

9. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (1989).

10. Patrick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy (1992).

11. Graham Swift’s Last Orders (1996).

Index

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Brian W. Shaffer is Professor of English and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Faculty Development at Rhodes College, Memphis. He is the author of The Blinding Torch: Modern British Fiction and the Discourse of Civilization (1993) and Understanding Kazuo Ishiguro (1998). He is also the co-editor with Hunt Hawkins of Approaches to Teaching Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and “The Secret Sharer” (2002) and the editor of A Companion to the British and Irish Novel 1945-2000 (Blackwell, 2005).
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  • An engaging introduction to the English-language novel writing in the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Focuses on British and Irish novelists, and on Anglophone novelists from other countries (exclusive of the US).

  • Provides students both with strategies for interpretation and with fresh readings of selected seminal texts.

  • Maps out the most important contexts and concepts for understanding this fiction.

  • Features readings of ten influential English-language novels including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

  • Written in clear, jargon-free prose.
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“This is an excellent introductory study, consisting of a series of essays concerning various important Anglophone novels from the period of the post-war to the present day. The selection of texts is intriguing. The volume is well-informed by criticism of the field and Shaffer’s close reading is exemplary. His interpretations cast fresh light on some novels that have become canonical and therefore this study is of great use to students generally and for those teaching them.” Philip Tew, University College Northampton; Director, UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies

“This is a main theme to a comprehensive study of ten novels: Kingsley Amis’s Luck Jim; William Golding’s Lord of the Flies; Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea; J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians; Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day; Patrick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy; and Graham Smith’s Last Orders…[Reading the Novel in English 1950-2000] is an asset to anyone who teaches any of these novels.”
English Literature in Transition 1880 – 1920

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