This book offers an innovative approach to contemporary literature, emphasising the links in the depiction of marginalized groups in contemporary fiction, rather than the traditional emphasis on specific ideological issues like postcolonialism and gender.The 'Marginal' as a concept has become an integral part of the British novel as it stands at the turn of the century. Both popular and literary fiction since the mid-1970s has seen an increasing emphasis on the marginal subject.This study offers readings of a wide range of contemporary British novels that represent characters or communities at the margin of society. Nicola Allen analyses three conceptual categories representing the marginal subject in the contemporary British novel: the character of the misfit or outsider; the emergence of the grotesque; and the rediscovery of previously marginalized narratives such as myth and fantasy.
This innovative and original monograph focuses on the contention that the contemporary novel of marginality conveys a belief in the socially transformative powers of narrative, and suggests that narrative has played a central role in bringing marginal politics and marginal issues to the fore in contemporary Britain.
Nicola Allen is Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK.
1. Critical Concepts; 2. The Status of the Marginal in Contemporary British Fiction; 3. The Misfit Protagonist; 4. Personal Histories and Renewed Myths; 5. Satire and the Grotesque; 6. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.