|About the Book|
Riven by world wars and cold wars, atrocities and genocides, the twentieth century was also one of sexual, cultural and ideological revolutions, each inscribed across the fictions it produced. This fascinating new collection of original essays re-examines the twentieth-century novel as a form shaped by its problematic, often scandalous relation to the public sphere. Such iconic texts were crucial in negotiating a public space and voice for fiction in the twentieth century, repositioning their readers and challenging popular notions of privacy and probity. Leading contributors consider ten novels that changed readers lives as well as public perceptions of the purpose of fiction: The Satanic Verses, Lady Chatterleys Lover, Beloved, On The Road, Disgrace, Ulysses, The Well of Loneliness, A Man of the People, Native Son, and The Hand that Signed the Paper. Three were the subject of famous trials for obscenity- others were accused of being blasphemous, libellous, seditious, even racist. Rewriting the critical consensus, the collection is an attempt to think afresh about the twentieth-century novel as a tradition of transgression, perennially caught between license and licentiousness, erudition and sedition.