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Literature of the 1980s: After the Watershed

Volume 9

Joseph Brooker

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Provides a vibrant account of the diverse literature from a decade which left Britain a very different place

Joseph Brooker relates developments in fiction, poetry and drama to social change – from the new generation of London novelists such as Martin Amis and Ian McEwan to the impact of feminism in the fiction of Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson. Brooker also considers Black British writers and the fate of working-class writing in the age of Thatcherism. Literature of the 1980s provides a vibrant account of the diversity of writing from a decade which left Britain a very different place.

Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
General Editor's Preface
Introduction: After the Watershed
1. Generations
2. Disaffections
3. Modes
4. Belongings
5. Commitments
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index.

About the Author

Joseph Brooker teaches English at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of Joyce's Critics (2004) and Flann O'Brien (2005), and has co-edited issues of Journal of Law & Society and New Formations. He has written numerous articles on the modern literature of Britain, Ireland and the United States.

Reviews

‘Brooker’s ability to represent such a wide range of literary and cultural texts within a coherent structure is no small feat. [...] The real strength of the book lies in its ability to provide such an impressively thorough account of a wide range of texts alongside some impassioned and convincing close readings of so many of them. Brooker is doing much more than simply defining, checking or expanding the shifting canons of eighties literature: his literary readings and his sense of the period make both available to us anew.’


Nicky Marsh, Textual Practice



‘Joseph Brooker's book manages the admirable task of introducing and even historicising a period whose legacy is just beginning to be understood. Ranging from Derrida to Duran Duran, he provides an exemplary work of literary and cultural history, while braiding politics and literature together in revealing close readings of key authors and texts. This is a brave, lucid and richly informed book, necessary reading for anyone interested in understanding a tumultuous period in the cultural history of these islands.’


Ray Ryan, author of Writing in the Irish Republic and co-editor, The Good of the Novel


"Brooker offers an engaged and critical analysis of some of the central literary works and preoccupations of the decade..."

- Years Work in English Studies, vol 91, no 1, 2012

‘Brooker’s ability to represent such a wide range of literary and cultural texts within a coherent structure is no small feat. [...] The real strength of the book lies in its ability to provide such an impressively thorough account of a wide range of texts alongside some impassioned and convincing close readings of so many of them. Brooker is doing much more than simply defining, checking or expanding the shifting canons of eighties literature: his literary readings and his sense of the period make both available to us anew.’


Nicky Marsh, Textual Practice



‘Joseph Brooker's book manages the admirable task of introducing and even historicising a period whose legacy is just beginning to be understood. Ranging from Derrida to Duran Duran, he provides an exemplary work of literary and cultural history, while braiding politics and literature together in revealing close readings of key authors and texts. This is a brave, lucid and richly informed book, necessary reading for anyone interested in understanding a tumultuous period in the cultural history of these islands.’


Ray Ryan, author of Writing in the Irish Republic and co-editor, The Good of the Novel

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