My first book, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times, is out with Bloomsbury.
Traditional apocalyptic texts concern the advent of a better world at the end of history that will make sense of everything that happened before. But what is at stake in the contemporary shift to apocalyptic narratives in which the utopian end of time is removed?
The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel offers an innovative critical model for our cultural obsession with ‘the end’ by focussing on the significance of time in the 21st-century post-apocalyptic novel and challenging traditional apocalyptic logic.
Once confined to the genre of science fiction, the increasing popularity of end-of-the-world narratives has caused apocalyptic writing to feature in the work of some of contemporary literature’s most well-known fiction writers. Considering novels by Will Self, Cormac McCarthy, David Mitchell, Emily St. John Mandel, Jeanette Winterson and others, the book frames the contemporary apocalyptic imagination as a critique of modernity’s apocalyptic conception of time and history. Interdisciplinary in scope, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel historicises apocalyptic beliefs by exploring how relentlessly they have shaped the modern world.
Praise for The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel:
“Set to become a landmark study of 21st century fiction, this wide-ranging, thought-provoking study is an invaluable resource, representing original work of the highest order, from a writer both engagingly readable and critically sophisticated.”Judie Newman, OBE, Professor of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham
You can read the book’s introduction below. My other writings on post-apocalyptic fiction can be found here.