Few previous periods in the history of American literature could rival the richness of the postmodern era - the diversity of its authors, the complexity of its ideas and visions, and the multiplicity of its subjects and forms. This volume offers an authoritative, comprehensive, and accessible guide to the American fiction of this remarkable period. It traces the development of postmodern American fiction over the past half-century and explores its key aesthetic, cultural, and political contexts. It examines its principal styles and genres, from the early experiments with metafiction to the most recent developments, such as the graphic novel and digital fiction, and offers concise, compelling readings of many of its major works. An indispensable resource for students, scholars, and the general reader, the Companion both highlights the extraordinary achievements of postmodern American fiction and provides illuminating critical frameworks for understanding it.
Table of Contents
Introduction Paula Geyh; 1. Postmodern precursors Jonathan P. Eburne; 2. Prolonged periodization: American fiction after 1960 David Cowart; 3. Postmodern American fiction and global literature Caren Irr; 4. Philosophical skepticism and narrative incredulity: postmodern theory and postmodern American fiction Arkady Plotnitsky; 5. History and fiction Timothy Parrish; 6. Gender and sexuality: postmodern constructions Sally Robinson; 7. Pluralism and postmodernism: the histories and geographies of ethnic American literature Dean Franco; 8. The zombie in the mirror: postmodernism and subjectivity in science fiction Elana Gomel; 9. Postmodern styles: language, reflexivity, and pastiche Patrick O'Donnell; 10. Between word and image: the textual and the visual in postmodern American fiction Paula Geyh; 11. Electronic fictions: television, the internet, and the future of digital fiction Astrid Ensslin.