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Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and 'Peace'

Volume 5

Gill Plain

Paperback (In stock)
£24.99

A groundbreaking re-reading of the literary response to a decade of trauma and transformation

This new study undoes the customary division of the 1940s into the Second World War and after. Instead, it focuses on the thematic preoccupations that emerged from writers’ immersion in and resistance to the conflict. Through seven chapters – Documenting, Desiring, Killing, Escaping, Grieving, Adjusting and Atomising – the book sets middlebrow and popular writers alongside residual modernists and new voices to reconstruct the literary landscape of the period. Detailed case studies of fiction, drama and poetry provide fresh critical perspectives on writers as diverse as Margery Allingham, Alexander Baron, Elizabeth Bowen, Keith Douglas, Henry Green, Graham Greene, Georgette Heyer, Alun Lewis, Nancy Mitford, George Orwell, Mervyn Peake, J. B. Priestley, Terence Rattigan, Mary Renault, Stevie Smith, Dylan Thomas and Evelyn Waugh.

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Contents

Illustrations
General Editor’s Preface
Preface
1. Introduction
I. WAR
2. Documenting
3. Desiring
4. Killing
II. POSTWAR
5. Escaping
6. Grieving
7. Adjusting
III. ‘PEACE’
8. Atomizing
Works Cited
Index.

About the Author

Gill Plain is Professor of English at the University of St Andrews. She has published extensively on twentieth-century popular culture, crime fiction, gender, sexuality and the writing of the two world wars. Her previous books include John Mills and British Cinema (Edinburgh 2006), Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction: Gender, Sexuality and the Body (Edinburgh, 2001), and Women’s Fiction of the Second World War (Edinburgh, 1996).

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