How did social, cultural and political events in Britain during the 1980s shape contemporary British fiction?
Setting the fiction squarely within the context of Conservative politics and questions about culture and national identity, this volume reveals how the decade associated with Thatcherism frames the work of Kazuo Ishiguro, Martin Amis, and Graham Swift, of Scottish novelists and new diasporic writers. How and why 1980s fiction is a response to particular psychological, social and economic pressures is explored in detail. Drawing on the rise of individualism and the birth of neo-liberalism, contributors reflect on the tense relations between 1980s politics and realism, and between elegy and satire. Noting the creation of a 'heritage industry' during the decade, the rise of the historical novel is also considered against broader cultural changes. Viewed from the perspective of more recent theorisations of crisis following both 9/11 and the 21st-century financial crash, this study makes sense of why and how writers of the 1980s constructed fictions in response to this decade's own set of fundamental crises.
Leigh Wilson is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Westminster, UK. Philip Tew is Professor of English (Post-1900 Literature) at Brunel University, UK, Director of Brunel's Centre for Contemporary Writing and Director of the UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies. Emily Horton is Visiting Lecturer in English Literature at Brunel University, UK and at the University of Westminster, UK.
Series Introduction Nick Hubble, Philip Tew and Leigh Wilson \ Volume Introduction Philip Tew, Leigh Wilson and Emily Horton \ Notes on Contributors \ 1. Bombs, Kidnappings and Yuppies: The Literary History of the Decade Emily Horton \ 2. Thatcherism and Literature Joseph Brooker \ 3. The Awakening of Caledonias? Scottish Literature in the 1980s Monica Germana \ 4. Black British Women's Fiction in the 1980s Susan Alice Fischer \ 5. From the Heritage Act to Radical Historiography: History in the 1980s Alex Murray \ 6. Generic Discontinuities and Variations in Fiction of the 1980s Frederick M. Holmes \ 7. British novels of 1980s: International Contexts Jung Su \ Timeline \ Brief Biographies \ Bibliography \ Index