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Literature of the 1990s

Endings and Beginnings

Peter Marks

Paperback (Forthcoming)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Provides a synoptic view of the exuberant and challenging fiction, poetry and drama created in 1990s Britain

Placing literary creativity within a changing cultural and political context that saw the end of Margaret Thatcher and rise of New Labour, this book offers fresh interpretations of mainstream and marginal works from all parts of Britain. Based on a framework of thematically-structured accounts, the individual chapters cover national identity, ethnicity, sexuality, class, celebrity culture, history and fantasy in literature from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. It offers its readers a comprehensive view of the changing and challenging literary landscape in this period, critically examining the fiction, poetry and drama as well as representative films, art and music. Placed within the broader context of a transformative political and cultural environment that included Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, Damian Hirst and Princess Diana, the book captures the energetic and sometimes provocative experimentation that typified the final decade of the twentieth century.

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Introduction: Beginnings and Endings
1. United Kingdom?
2. New Ethnicities
3. Love in the Nineties
4. Class Resilience
5. Celebrity Culture
6. Rewriting the Past
7. Fantasiecle
Conclusion: Endings and Beginnings.

About the Author

Peter Marks is Professor of English at the University of Sydney.


In this stylish and piercingly insightful survey of 90s writing, Peter Marks conveys the shock of the no longer new. A period takes shape in his pages that is no longer ours and that we may care about more, and differently, because, as he shows so well, it has its own explosive and eccentric coherence.

- Bruce Robbins, Columbia University

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