Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4675 PARKES, ADAM TR 11:00 AM 0144


This new course will introduce students to some of the most beautiful and powerful works of fiction written by contemporary British writers.  Some of these writers, such as Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro, were established figures even before the turn of the century; others, such as Zadie Smith and Tom McCarthy, have had a more recent impact.  Reading works written in the realist tradition together with experimental texts, we will explore the question of how novelists of the twenty-first century have engaged with our own historical moment.  We will consider how themes of class, money, and status continue to shape the English novel as a literary form, as well as discussing issues that seem distinctively contemporary, such as global finance, immigration, multiculturalism, sexuality, and national identity.  

Reading ahead during the winter break is strongly recommended -- The Line of BeautyOn Beauty, and Capital are quite long.  It would also be a good idea to acquaint yourself with E.M. Forster's Howards End and Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway before the semester begins, if you haven't already done so: these will give you some of the literary back-story of our period and of several of the works to be studied.


Short papers and a 10-page research paper; informal writing assignments and occasional quizzes.




Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (Bloomsbury, 2005.  1582346100)

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go  (Vintage, 2006.  1400078776)

John Lanchester, Capital (Norton, 2012. 0393345092)

Tom McCarthy, Remainder  (Vintage, 2007.  0307278352)

Ian McEwan, Atonement  (Anchor, 2003.  038572179X)

Zadie Smith, On Beauty (Penguin, 2006. 0143037749)



M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (Wadsworth, 2011.  0495898023)