Thank you for visiting us. We are currently updating our shopping cart and regret to advise that it will be unavailable until September 1, 2014. We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to serving you again.

Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share

The American Novel Now: Reading Contemporary American Fiction Since 1980

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6757-4
248 pages
February 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
The American Novel Now: Reading Contemporary American Fiction Since 1980 (1405167572) cover image
The American Novel Now navigates the vast terrain of the American novel since 1980, exploring issues of identity, history, family, nation, and aesthetics, as well as cultural movements and narrative strategies from over seventy different authors and novels.
  • Discusses an exceptionally wide-range of authors and novels, from established figures to significant emerging writers
  • Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, Kathy Acker and many more
  • Explores the range of themes and styles offered in the wealth of contemporary American fiction since 1980, in both mainstream and experimental writings
  • Reflects the liveliness and diversity of American fiction in the last thirty years
  • Written in a style that makes it ideal for students and scholars, while also accessible for general readers
See More
Acknowledgements.

Preface.

Part I: Before 1980.

Part II: From New Realisms to Postmodernism.

This American Life”.

"Dirty Realisms".

Only Wor(l)ds.

Magnifying Reality, Multiplying Genre.

Part III: Becoming Identities.

Reinventing Character.

Racing Identity.

Engendering Narrative.

Toward the Posthuman.

Part IV: What Happened to History?

The Past is Prologue.

Tunneling In.

Imagining Epoch.

Another History.

Catastrophe:  The Ends of History.

Part V:  Relations Stopping Nowhere.

The Postnuclear Family.

The Reach of Community.

Nation and Migration:  From There to Here.

Epilogue.

Notes.

References.

Index.

See More
Patrick O'Donnell is Professor of English and American Literature at Michigan State University, where he served as department chair from 1997 to 2007. He has written and edited a number of books and collections on contemporary American fiction and film, including Latent Destinies: Cultural Paranoia in Contemporary U.S. Fiction (2000), Echo Chambers: Figuring Voice in Modern Narrative (1992), Passionate Doubts: Designs of Interpretation in Contemporary American Fiction (1986), and New Essays on The Crying of Lot 49 (edited, 1991). He is an associate editor of The Columbia History of the American Novel (1991), a former editor of Modern Fiction Studies, and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Fiction (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell).
See More
  • Discusses an exceptionally wide-range of authors and novels, from established figures to significant emerging writers
  • Featured authors include Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, Kathy Acker and many more
  • Explores the range of themes and styles offered in the wealth of contemporary American fiction since 1980, in both mainstream and experimental writings
  • Reflects the liveliness and diversity of American fiction in the last thirty years
  • Written in a style that makes it ideal for students and scholars, while also accessible for general readers
See More
"In this extremely accessible discussion, O'Donnell (Michigan State Univ.) reveals his as an authoritative voice on novels from the 1980s to present. His selections are, by his own admission, eclectic: he writes in the introduction that he "chose to discuss, where appropriate, both widely read novels published by the mainstream commercial presses and less visible, often experimental work published by independent presses." He looks at work from more than 70 authors, including central figures of the American literary canon--Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, and Don DeLillo, to name only a few. O'Donnell divides the book (and his approach) into five distinctive parts, discussing, respectively, work leading to the 1980s; realism and experimentation; identity, as it pertains to character--gender, ethnicity, and so on; historicity and "end times"; and social emergence within the novel. All this leads to an intriguing "excursus that speculates on the future of the novel." This is a comprehensive discussion of the novel and present circumstances influencing it--an interesting study on many levels." (CHOICE, December 2010)

"The American Novel Now provides an accessible introduction to the many strands of post-1980 American fiction." (TLS, June 2010)

"O'Donnell's authoritative organization of the field, capacious discussions of individual novels, and lucid prose will provide readers-from advanced students to the broad general audience for contemporary writing- with an engaging, judicious, and vastly well-informed survey of the American novel since 1980. In this invaluable new guide to the populous domain of contemporary US fiction O'Donnell brilliantly charts multiple tracks through hundreds of novels, identifying common aesthetic, social, and historical concerns through the period.  Reflecting O'Donnell's expertise as one of the field’s leading specialists, this is a confident, evolved, and utterly reliable consideration of one of the liveliest eras for fiction in the nation's history.  Readers will be grateful for it."
—John T. Matthews, Boston University

See More

Related Titles

Back to Top