Literary criticism is always chasing its object of study. It follows in the wake of the primary texts themselves, and in that sense has a complex relationship with the contemporary, even more so perhaps than the fiction upon which it comments. In this book we have looked at the essential criticism of novelists and their work produced over the last 40 years or so, as well as the important theoretical conversations that have influenced and inflected that criticism. The division of this book into themed chapters represents the main categories in which the analysis of the fiction has been organized. This is not to say, of course, that there could not have been other themes that would have identified a different set of fictional works and a different range of critical work about them, and indeed the development of different angles of criticism in the future may offer a very different reading and understanding of the fiction that has been produced in our period. It may be that some of the writers and novels that have been prominent in the contemporaneous criticism will drop into obscurity, while others will emerge as indicative of some thematic or theoretical focus as yet unspecified.
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Dr. Nick Bentley
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