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Biographical Fiction: A Reader (Hardback)
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Biographical Fiction: A Reader (Hardback)

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£102.00
Hardback 488 Pages / Published: 03/11/2016
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In recent years, the biographical novel has become one of the most dominant literary forms-J.M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, Colum McCann, Anne Enright, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Carey, Russell Banks, and Julia Alvarez are just a few luminaries who have published stellar biographical novels. But why did this genre come into being mainly in the 20th century? Is it ethical to invent stories about an actual historical figure? What is biofiction uniquely capable of signifying? Why are so many prominent writers now authoring such works? And why are they winning such major awards? In Biographical Fiction: A Reader, some of the finest scholars and writers of biofiction clarify what led to the rise of this genre, reflect on its nature and form, and specify what it is uniquely capable of doing. Combining primary and critical material, this accessible reader will be invaluable to students, teachers, and scholars of biofiction.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781501317996
Number of pages: 488
Weight: 812 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Biographical Fiction catches the study of biofiction on the upswing. This up-to-the-minute volume, the only one of its kind, features major writers and critics and is sure to be a key point of reference for scholars and students of biographical fiction. * James L. W. West III, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University, USA *
Biofiction has come into its own as a major genre. This timely anthology of author notes and interviews, lectures and essays, covers nearly a century of writing on an increasingly popular genre, tracing its emergence as a distinct form for understanding history and the people, both famous and forgotten, who made it. Scholars owe Michael Lackey a debt of gratitude for compiling such a rich history of this important genre and showing us, in Lackey's words, 'what this aesthetic form is uniquely capable of doing.' * Pamela L. Caughie, Professor of English, Loyola University Chicago, USA *
Michael Lackey's magisterial collection introduces general readers, students, and scholars alike to one of the most fascinating and productive fields of 20th and 21st century poetology, theory, and philosophy. Biofictions challenge our understanding of past and present and the way we relate to and account for such issues as history and truth, or personal lives and identity by means of narration. Biofictions are highly intertextual and interauthorial (life-)writings and, therefore, they address perennial questions of originality and authenticity making use of manifold imaginative strategies. Lackey's collection carefully retraces the varied history of biographical fiction from initially rather dismissive reactions from critics to the veritable triumph of the genre after the advent of postmodernism. Lackey has very wisely chosen to present us with a rich choice of texts that spans over almost a century and that includes authors' reflections, lectures, forum contributions, interviews, and a choice of critical essays. This makes for a fascinating, learned, highly informative, multi-perspective, and multi-faceted reading which offers historical overview as well as many starting points for further reading and research--a milestone in biofiction studies. * Martin Middeke, Professor and Chair of English Literature, University of Augsburg, Germany, and Visiting Professor of English, University of Johannesburg, South Africa *
[This] collection heralds the birth of biofiction as a genre in its own right, separate from historical fiction or life writing, and seeks to advocate for its recognition as a discrete literary phenomenon with its own aesthetic parameters ... The strength of this anthology lies in its presentation of many different and important perspectives on the genre ... Lackey's choice of contrasting material in this volume allows its readers to weigh up for themselves the status, form and role of the genre, advocating for its importance whilst leaving its definitive boundaries decisively blurred. * Forum for Modern Language Reviews *

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