Today, we tend to think about the apocalypse as a catastrophe of overwhelmingly dystopian consequences but, traditionally, apocalyptic narratives concern the advent of a utopian world at the end of history. My research investigates what is at stake in this shift to a dystopian apocalyptic imagination by theorising the significance of time in the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel.
My book on this topic, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times, is out with Bloomsbury. Novels I discuss in this book include: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006), Colson Whitehead’s Zone One (2011), Jim Crace’s The Pesthouse (2007), David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014), Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods (2007), and Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan (2017). You can read the book’s introduction here.
You can find my other writings on the contemporary post-apocalyptic novel here:
- “Critical Temporalities: Station Eleven and the Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel.” Open Library of Humanities 4.2 (2018). This article is part of a special issue I co-edited with Daniel King, “Station Eleven and Twenty-First-Century Writing”.
- “‘Time, no arrow, no boomerang, but a concertina’: Cloud Atlas and the Anti-Apocalyptic Critical Temporalities of the Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 59.2 (2018): 243-57.
- “The Representational Impasse of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction: The Pesthouse by Jim Crace.” Altre Modernità 9 (2013): 66-80.
You can also listen to and watch some of my lectures on the apocalyptic imagination in the talks section of this website.
If you’d like to read something I’ve written but don’t have access to it, do get in touch.