Contemporary American Fiction introduces the work of a range of American authors, all of whom can be said to engage with postmodernism: Don DeLillo, Paul Auster, Cormac McCarthy, Rolando Hinojosa, E. Annie Proulx, Bret Easton Ellis, Douglas Coupland and Thomas Pynchon. The overarching theme is an exploration of the current vitality and energy of contemporary writing in light of pessimistic proclamations on the state of postmodern American culture, and of the tension between 'realistic' description and linguistic self-consciousness in contemporary fiction. As an introductory text for both American Studies and English Literature students, it assumes no prior knowledge of the authors or the novels discussed. To encourage understanding and aid further study, the following features are included: * glossaries of literary and critical terms * bibliographies for each author * biographies of each author * links between the authors are highlighted * thematic and author indices Key Features * Each chapter covers one author in depth - ideal for students writing essays, preparing for seminars, etc.*
Authors covered have been selected on basis of their popularity on undergraduate courses * Finds a middle ground between literary theory and traditional narrative criticism - engages with both the texts and the relevant conceptual issues
Alan Bilton is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea and editor of The American 1920s: Literary Sources and Documents (2001).
Preface; A Short Glossary of Critical Terms; A Short Glossary of Literary Terms; Introduction; Postmodernism and Contemporary Fiction: An Introductory Bibliography; 1. Don DeLillo; Don DeLillo Biography; DeLillo on DeLillo; Links to other authors; Reading early DeLillo; Don DeLillo Bibliography; 2. Paul Auster; Paul Auster Biography; Auster on Auster; Links to other authors; Paul Auster Bibliography; 3. Cormac McCarthy; Cormac McCarthy Biography; Approaches to Cormac McCarthy; Links to other authors; Cormac McCarthy Bibliography; 4. Rolando Hinojosa; Rolando Hinojosa Biography; Links to other authors; Reading The Klail City Death Trip series; Rolando Hinojosa Bibliography; 5. E. Annie Proulx; E. Annie Proulx Biography; Proulx on Proulx; Links to other authors; E. Annie Proulx Bibliography; 6. Bret Easton Ellis; Bret Easton Ellis Biography; Ellis on Ellis; Links to other authors; Bret Easton Ellis Bibliography; 7. Douglas Coupland; Douglas Coupland Biography; Couplandisms; Links to other authors; Douglas Coupland Bibliography; Conclusion: Thomas Pynchon's Mason and Dixon; Thematic Index; Author Index.