The American Novel Now navigates the vast terrain of the American novel since 1980, exploring issues of identity, history, family, nation, and aesthetics, as well as cultural movements and narrative strategies from over seventy different authors and novels.
Discusses an exceptionally wide-range of authors and novels, from established figures to significant emerging writers
Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, Kathy Acker and many more
Explores the range of themes and styles offered in the wealth of contemporary American fiction since 1980, in both mainstream and experimental writings
Reflects the liveliness and diversity of American fiction in the last thirty years
Written in a style that makes it ideal for students and scholars, while also accessible for general readers
Patrick O'Donnell is Professor of English and American Literature at Michigan State University, where he served as department chair from 1997 to 2007. He has written and edited a number of books and collections on contemporary American fiction and film, including Latent Destinies: Cultural Paranoia in Contemporary U.S. Fiction (2000), Echo Chambers: Figuring Voice in Modern Narrative (1992), Passionate Doubts: Designs of Interpretation in Contemporary American Fiction (1986), and New Essays on The Crying of Lot 49 (edited, 1991). He is an associate editor of The Columbia History of the American Novel (1991), a former editor of Modern Fiction Studies, and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Fiction (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell).
Acknowledgements. Preface. Part I: Before 1980. Part II: From New Realisms to Postmodernism. This American Life . "Dirty Realisms". Only Wor(l)ds. Magnifying Reality, Multiplying Genre. Part III: Becoming Identities. Reinventing Character. Racing Identity. Engendering Narrative. Toward the Posthuman. Part IV: What Happened to History? The Past is Prologue. Tunneling In. Imagining Epoch. Another History. Catastrophe: The Ends of History. Part V: Relations Stopping Nowhere. The Postnuclear Family. The Reach of Community. Nation and Migration: From There to Here. Epilogue. Notes. References. Index.