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Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction

Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction

by Judie Newman


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This book examines the quest for/failure of Utopia across a range of contemporary American/transnational fictions in relation to terror and globalization through authors such as Susan Choi, André Dubus, Dalia Sofer, and John Updike. While recent critical thinkers have reengaged with Utopia, the possibility of terror - whether state or non-state, external or homegrown - shadows Utopian imaginings. Terror and Utopia are linked in fiction through the exploration of the commodification of affect, a phenomenon of a globalized world in which feelings are managed, homogenized across cultures, exaggerated, or expunged according to a dominant model. Narrative approaches to the terrorist offer a means to investigate the ways in which fiction can resist commodification of affect, and maintain a reasoned but imaginative vision of possibilities for human community. Newman explores topics such as the first American bestseller with a Muslim protagonist, the links between writer and terrorist, the work of Iranian-Jewish Americans, and the relation of race and religion to Utopian thought.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138813953
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/10/2014
Series: Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 182
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Judie Newman is Professor of American Studies at The University of Nottingham, UK.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Rotten with perfection: Kim Edwards, The Secrets of a Fire King. 3.Fiction and the Unabomber: Susan Choi, A Person of Interest. 4.Blowback: André Dubus III, House of Sand and Fog. 5. Falling Woman: André Dubus III, The Garden of Last Days 6. Pictures from a Revolution: Dalia Sofer, The Septembers of Shiraz 7.Updike’s Many Worlds: Local and Global in Toward the End of Time. 8.The Black Atlantic as Dystopia: Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots. 9.Disaster Utopias: Chitra Divakaruni, One Amazing Thing.

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