Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel


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In this celebration of contemporary American fiction, Kathryn Hume explores how estrangement from America has shaped the fiction of a literary generation, which she calls the Generation of the Lost Dream.

Aggressive Fictions, Reading the Contemporary American Novel

In breaking down the divisions among standard categories of race, religion, ethnicity, and gender, Hume identifies shared core concerns, values, and techniques among se In this celebration of contemporary American fiction, Kathryn Hume explores how estrangement from America has shaped the fiction of a literary generation, which she calls the Generation of the Lost Dream. In breaking down the divisions among standard categories of race, religion, ethnicity, and gender, Hume identifies shared core concerns, values, and techniques among seemingly disparate and unconnected writers including T.

Hume explores fictional treatments of the slippage in the immigrant experience between America's promise and its reality. She exposes the political link between contemporary stories of lost innocence and liberalism's inadequacies.

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She also invites us to look at the literary challenge to scientific materialism in various searches for a spiritual dimension in life. The expansive future promised by the American Dream has been replaced, Hume finds, by a sense of tarnished morality and a melancholy loss of faith in America's exceptionalism. American Dream, American Nightmare examines the differing critiques of America embedded in nearly a hundred novels and points to the source for recovery that appeals to many of the authors. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 16th by University of Illinois Press first published More Details Original Title.

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To ask other readers questions about American Dream, American Nightmare , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about American Dream, American Nightmare. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 29, Steven rated it really liked it Shelves: literary-criticism.

Kathryn Hume's study of more than one hundred novels published since explores fiction expressing the theme of disillusionment with America and the American Dream. This book is a must-read for people serious about the contemporary American novel. Her topic is genuinely interesting, her analyses always perspicacious. Compelling and original, this book will be warmly welcomed by scholars-and by that larger community of readers passionate about contemporary fiction.

She helps us to understand why we read the kind of books that do not bring us the casual rewards of easy pleasure.

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Aggressive Fictions is a vital book. These works challenge the reader's morality or her sense of the good, true, and beautiful; they cause a strong, often negative bodily, emotional, or intellectual response; they rock our world with disgusting content or challenging narrative strategies. Hume 'brings out' these works and offers incisive discussions of how they might be read in a productive manner.

Hume creates an exhilarating treatment for those interested in understanding the shifts in authorial motivation and content.


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  5. She argues that subverting traditional plots and patterns, along with character development, creates a dissonance worthy of extended examination. Highly recommended. Fictionists who have been almost forgotten by scholars, such as Robert Coover, are given new life by comparisons with current favorites such as Chuck Palahniuk and Katherine Dunn.

    She is the author of several books, including and.

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    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel
    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel
    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel
    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel
    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel
    Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel

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