Incest in contemporary literature

Edited by Miles Leeson

Incest in contemporary literature


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2216-2
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: August 2018
  • BIC Category: Contemporary Literature, Literature, Literary essays, Films, cinema, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Television, Sexual abuse & harassment, Modern & contemporary fiction, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature & literary studies / General


This is the first edited collection of essays which focuses on the incest taboo and its literary and cultural presentation from the 1950s to the present day. It considers a number of key authors and artists, rather than a single author from this period. The collection exposes the wide use of incest and sexual trauma, and the frequency this appears within contemporary literature and related arts. Incest in contemporary literature discusses the impact of this change in attitudes on literature and literary adaptations in the latter half of the twentieth century, and early years of the twenty-first century. Although primarily concerned with fiction, the collection includes work on television and film. Authors discussed include Iain Banks, A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Simone de Beauvoir, Ted Hughes, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan Iris Murdoch, Vladimir Nabokov, Andrea Newman and Pier Pasolini and Sylvia Plath.


Introduction, Miles Leeson with Emma V. Miller
Part I: Behind closed doors
1. Text, image, audience: Adaptation and reception of Andrea Newman's A Bouquet of Barbed Wire (1969) - Frances Pheasant-Kelly
2. Assuming a 'manly position': The crisis of masculinity in Ian McEwan's early fiction - Justine Gieni
3. 'Waking in the dark': Remembering incest in A Thousand Acres (1991), Exposure (1993) and Beautiful Kate (2009) - Rebecca White
Part II: Incest and the child protagonist
4. 'The word is incest': Narrative, affect and judgement in and across the Lolitas - Matthew Pateman
5. Appropriate or anathema? The representation of incest in children's literature - Alice Mills
6. '[B]orn to make a real life, however it cracks your heart': creative women and daydreaming in Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels (2008) - Emma V. Miller
Part III: Incest as a political conceit
7. The desire for power and the power of desire: The case of Pier Paolo Pasolini - Michael Mack
8. 'Our close but prohibited union': Sibling incest, class and national identity in Iain Banks's The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007) - Robert Duggan
9. Is posthuman incest possible? Science fiction and the futures of the body - Alistair Brown
Part IV: The rhetoric of narrating incest
10. 'Is't not a kind of incest?' Metaphor and relation in the poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath - Charles Mundye
11. '[T]he thing that makes us different from other people': Narrating incest through 'différance' in the work of Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt and Doris Lessing - Emma V. Miller and Miles Leeson
12. Avuncular ambiguity: Ethical virtue in Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince (1973) and Simone de Beauvoir's The Mandarins (1954) - Miles Leeson


Miles Leeson is the Director of the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester

Incest in contemporary literature

Edited by Miles Leeson

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

Paperback £26.00 / $38.95

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