Twenty-first-century fiction

Contemporary British voices

By Daniel Lea

Twenty-first-century fiction


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3957-3
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: Literature, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Literature: history & criticism, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: from c 2000, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Contemporary Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Literary studies: c 1900 to c 2000, Ireland, Early 21st century c 2000 to c 2050, LITERARY CRITICISM / Women Authors


This book offers readings of five of the most interesting and original voices to have emerged in Britain since the millennium as they tackle the challenges of portraying the new century. Through close readings of the work of Ali Smith, Andrew O'Hagan, Tom McCarthy, Sarah Hall and Jon McGregor, Daniel Lea opens a window onto the formal and thematic concerns that characterise a literary landscape troubled by both familiar and unfamiliar predicaments. These include questions about the meaning of humanness in an age of digital intercourse; about the need for a return to authenticity in the wake of postmodernism; and about the dislocation of self from the other under neoliberal individualism. By relating its readings of these authors to the wider shifts in contemporary literary criticism, this book offers in-depth analysis of important landmarks of recent fiction and an introduction to the challenges of understanding the literature of our time.


1. Introduction: Contemporary criticism and the untimely
2. Ali Smith
3. Andrew O'Hagan
4. Tom McCarthy
5. Sarah Hall
6. Jon McGregor


Daniel Lea is Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at Oxford Brookes University

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