While traditionally the novel has been seen as tracking the development of the nation state, Schoene queries if globalisation might currently be prompting the emergence of a new sub-genre of the novel that is adept at imagining global community. The book introduces a new generation of contemporary British writers (Rachel Cusk, Kiran Desai, Hari Kunzru, Jon McGregor and David Mitchell) whose work is read against that of established novelists Arundhati Roy, James Kelman and Ian McEwan. Each chapter explores a different theoretical key concept, including 'glocality', 'glomicity', 'tour du monde', 'connectivity' and 'compearance'.
I. IMAGINING COSMOPOLITICS: 1. Families against the world: Ian McEwan
2. James Kelman's cosmopolitan jeremiads
II. TOUR DU MONDE: 3. The world begins its turn with you, or how David Mitchell's novels think
III. CREATING THE WORLD: 4. Global noise: Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Hari Kunzru
5. Suburban worlds: Rachel Cusk and Jon McGregor
Coda: the cosmopolitan imagination