Reading behind the lines : postmemory in contemporary British war fiction / Natasha Alden.
- Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press ; New York : distributed in the United States exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
vii, 228 p. ; 23 cm.
- English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
English fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism.
War and literature -- Great Britain.
Memory in literature.
- This book takes the concept of postmemory, developed in Holocaust studies, and applies it for the first time to novels by contemporary British writers. Focusing on war fiction, Alden builds upon current scholarship on historical fiction and memory studies, and extends the field by exploring how the use of historical research within fiction illuminates the ways in which we remember and recreate the past. Using postmemory to unlock both the transgenerational aspects of the novels discussed and the development of historiographic metafiction, Alden provides a ground-breaking analysis of the nature and potential of contemporary historical fiction. By examining the patterns and motivations behind authors' translations of material from the historical record into fiction, Alden also asks to what extent such writing is, necessarily, metafictional. Ultimately, this study offers an updated answer to the question that historical fiction has always posed: what can fiction do with history that history cannot?
- 1. Introduction
2. Regenerating the past: fact and fiction in the Regeneration trilogy
3. 'In the beginning was the word; and to that it came back in the long run': Briony Tallis and Atonement
4. Lesbian postmemory: haunted 'history' in The night watch
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-223) and index.
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