Contemporary Historical Fiction, Exceptionalism and Community

After the Wreck

Authors: Strehle, Susan

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  • Focuses on the political and ethical content of new historical fiction
  • Adapts the concept of exceptionalism from American studies
  • Studies fictional communities that emerge in spite of oppression by the state
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eBook 74,89 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-55466-8
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Hardcover 93,59 €
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About this book

This book analyzes a significant group of contemporary historical fictions that represent damaging, even catastrophic times for people and communities; written “after the wreck,” they recall instructive pasts.  The novels chronicle wars, slavery, racism, child abuse and genocide; they reveal damages that ensue when nations claim an exalted, exceptionalist identity and violate the human rights of their Others. In sympathy with the exiled, writers of these contemporary historical fictions create alternative communities on the state’s outer fringes. These fictive communities include where the state excludes; they foreground relations of debt and obligation to the group in place of individualism, competition and private property.  Rather than assimilating members to a single identity with a unified set of views, the communities open multiple possibilities for belonging. Analyzing novels from Britain, Australia and the U.S., along with additional transnational examples, Susan Strehle explores the political vision animating some contemporary historical fictions.


About the authors

Susan Strehle is Distinguished Service Professor of English at Binghamton University (SUNY), USA.  She is the author of Fiction in the Quantum Universe and Transnational Women’s Fiction:  Unsettling Home and Homeland (Palgrave 2008). With Mary Paniccia Carden, she co-edited Doubled Plots: Romance and History (2003). She has published several articles on contemporary historical fiction.

Reviews

“Susan Strehle’s new book is an eye-opener. Long an astute reader of contemporary fiction, Strehle focuses her latest study on a diverse group of recent historical novels that expose the wreckage to humanity precipitated by exclusionary forces of state exceptionalism. With clarity and precision, she demonstrates how Toni Morrison, Barry Unsworth, Louise Erdrich, George Saunders and Richard Flanagan celebrate life-nurturing communities to challenge life-denying exclusions.”

Donald J. Greiner, Professor of English, University of South Carolina, USA, and author of Women without Men: Female Bonding and the American Novel of the 1980s (1993)

“Susan Strehle is a passionately brilliant, meticulously incisive scholar, whose beautifully written, deftly developed chapters examine an astutely chosen selection of contemporary fictions—including works by Hilary Mantel, Amitav Ghosh, Barry Unsworth, Richard Flanagan, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich and George Saunders—that provide an illuminating perspective on the tension between the nature of exceptionalism and the states of exception endemic—often fatally so—to the American ethos.”

Alan Nadel, William T. Bryan Professor of English, University of Kentucky, USA, and author of Demographic Angst: Cultural Narratives and American Films of the 1950s (2017)

 

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-55466-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Contemporary Historical Fiction, Exceptionalism and Community
Book Subtitle
After the Wreck
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-55466-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-55466-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-55465-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 205
Topics