Toward the Geopolitical Novel

U.S. Fiction in the Twenty-First Century

Caren Irr

Columbia University Press

Toward the Geopolitical Novel

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Pub Date: December 2013

ISBN: 9780231164412

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£27.00

Pub Date: December 2013

ISBN: 9780231164405

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.00

Pub Date: December 2013

ISBN: 9780231536318

280 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£27.00

Toward the Geopolitical Novel

U.S. Fiction in the Twenty-First Century

Caren Irr

Columbia University Press

Caren Irr's survey of more than 125 novels outlines the dramatic resurgence of the American political novel in the twenty-first century. She explores the writings of Chris Abani, Susan Choi, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Díaz, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, Aleksandar Hemon, Hari Kunzru, Dinaw Mengestu, Norman Rush, Gary Shteyngart, and others as they rethink stories of migration, the Peace Corps, nationalism and neoliberalism, revolution, and the expatriate experience. Taken together, these innovations define a new literary form: the geopolitical novel. More cosmopolitan and socially critical than domestic realism, the geopolitical novel provides new ways of understanding crucial political concepts to meet the needs of a new century.

Toward the Geopolitical Novel is an original, frequently brilliant, and indefatigably learned book. It will make a vital contribution to the understanding of contemporary literary fiction in the United States and of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature more generally.

Sean McCann, author of Gumshoe America: Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Rise and Fall of New Deal Liberalism

Toward the Geopolitical Novel is lucidly conceived and forcefully argued, ranging across a formidable spectrum of writers to set a new agenda for understanding the contemporary novel. Caren Irr provokes fresh discussions about the critical and cultural horizons of the novel since 2000, enabling us to chart how historical fiction has developed formally after postmodernism.

David James, author of Modernist Futures: Innovation and Inheritance in the Contemporary Novel

Irr has written a superb study, one that contributes greatly to our appreciation of the new dimensions of contemporary U.S. fiction. Perhaps the most exciting aspect lies in Irr's willingness to conceive of her subject, not on the basis of a handful of texts, but on a voluminous array of novels. The historical nuance and theoretical edge of this broadly based inquiry exhibit both her grasp of interpretative subtleties and her luminous powers of synthesis. It is simply the best book we have yet on the literature of this century.

Gordon Hutner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

No comparable volume exists.... Highly recommended.

Choice

Combining theory, socio-institutional analysis, and the sheer magnitude of a survey, she maks a convincing case that U.S. fiction is in fact becoming more worldly in the twenty-first century, and more political as well... Covers a dizzying amount of ground...

Contemporary Literature

Toward the Geopolitical Novel represents a major achievement, and it will undoubtedly become required reading for scholars of twenty-first century American literature.

Robert T. Tally Jr., American Book Review

Richly informative and nuanced.

Jerry Varsava, Studies in the Novel

Persuasive and insightful, this text will be useful to established academics in American literary studies, in addition to researchers of contemporary American fiction, postcolonial fiction, and globalization.

Daniel Mattingly, Journal of American Studies
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Resurgence of the Political Novel
1. From Routes to Routers: The Digital Migrant Novel
2. The Anxious American: Political Thrillers and the Peace Corps Fugue
3. Neoliberal Allegories: The Space of Home in Contemporary International Fiction
4. Ideology, Terror, and Apocalypse: The New Novel of Revolution
5. Toward the World Novel: Genre Shifts in Twenty-First-Century Expatriate Fiction
Notes
Primary Works
Bibliography
Index

Read the first chapter "The Resurgence of the Political Novel":

About the Author

Caren Irr is professor of English at Brandeis University and author of Pink Pirates: Contemporary American Women Writers and Copyright.