"A truly 'contemporary' study . . . remarkably up-to-date. . . . Each of the individual articles represents a genuine contribution to knowledge."--Charles A. Porter, Yale University
"Invaluable to readers wishing to familiarize themselves with the wide array of novels that have been published in France since the advent of the New Novel in the 1950s. For Anglo-American readers who may not have easy access to events on the contemporary French literary scene, this work will be especially useful and instructive."--Leah D. Hewitt, Amherst College
These essays provide an overview of the novel form in contemporary France through analyses of the works of novelists who have been at the forefront of French letters since 1960. Written by twentieth-century French literature specialists, the essays focus on individual authors who for the most part continue to contribute to French letters and whose place in the French literary scene is firmly established.
Introduction. The Contemporary Novel in France: A Generation of Writing and Criticism, by William Thompson
I. Continuing "Traditions" and Changing Styles
Autobiographical Fictions, by Raylene Ramsay
Julien Green, by Robert Stanley
Julien Gracq, by Michel Viegnes
Marguerite Duras, by Thomas Broden
Robert Pinget, by Robert Henkels
II. Innovations in Language and Form
Philippe Sollers, by Katherine C. Kurk
Jean Ricardou, by Tobin Jones
Jacques Roubaud, by Susan Ireland
Hélène Cixous, by Martine Motard-Noar
Jean Echenoz, by William Cloonan
III. Writing, History, and Myth
Elie Wiesel, by Jack Kolbert
Andrée Chedid, by Debbie Mann
Michel Tournier, by Susan Petit
Patrick Modiano, by Katheryn Wright
Monique Wittig, by Laurence M. Porter
IV. New Narratives, New Traditions
Benoîte Groult, by Catherine Slawy-Sutton
Dominique Fernandez, by Marie-Thérèse Noiset
Yann Queffélec, by Paul Raymond Côté
Patrick Drevet, by Gervais Reed
Jean-Philippe Toussaint, by Roy C. Caldwell
William Thompson is assistant professor of French at the University of Memphis. He is an editor of the annual French XX Bibliography and has published articles and reviews in LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory; Tennessee Philological Bulletin; and The French Review.
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...a welcome collection of essays on a wide array of French novelists of the last 30 years. ... The book is also designed to counterbalance the emphasis that has been given to philosophy, to the detriment of literature, in many elite French departments in the US during the last three decades. This laudable project thus represents a noble attempt to begin to restore some balance to the field.
"an invaluable overview of the situation of the contemporary French novel, important for researchers, professors, students, and the reading public itself."
--World Literature Today
"There is no space here to argue the specific merits of individual pieces. Suffice it to say that all avoid jargon, methodological flagrancy and theoretical top-heaviness, and thus provide readers at all levels with honest insight and largely transparent cogency. It is, in consequence, a book that will prove to be most useful and practical in its revelations and analyses."
"the reange of the collection and the quality of the analysis are impressive. Each essay incorporates helpful bibliographies that supplement the extensive partially annotated bibliography at the end of the volume. This is a valuable update on French fiction and will be welcomed by teachers of the contemporary novel."
--Modern Language Review
"In a period wen works on living novelists have been so heavily outnumbered by those on postmodernism and cultural studies, this book is most welcome." -- Modern and Contemporary France
--Modern and Contemporary France
"The creation of an anthology, like the writing process, always involves a selection, and this editor has given us an excellent selection of contemporary French novelists. The literary world owes him a debt of gratitude for perceiving the gap in current studies and for his most valuable contribution toward filling the gap." European Studies Journal
--European Studies Journal