- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: July 2019
- Print publication year: 2019
- Online ISBN: 9781108595568
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108595568
This book examines the experience of time functions in a specific set of British novels to reveal the persistence of the utopian imagination in the twenty-first century. Through close textual analysis, Edwards develops a new strategy of reading such anticipatory 'fictions of the not yet', including novels by Hari Kunzru, Maggie Gee, David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Jim Crace, Joanna Kavenna, Grace McCleen, Jon McGregor, and Claire Fuller. Read in the context of the philosophical category of non-contemporaneity, these novels reveal a significant new direction in twenty-first-century fiction. Their formal inventiveness and suggestively non-mimetic encounters with otherwise realist narrative representations of contemporary experience open up a realm of utopian possibility that shines through in moments of temporal alterity: glimpses of the future, redeemed strands of past hopes, and alternative social worlds already alive in the present.
Patricia Waugh - Durham University
Carl Freedman - William A. Read Professor of English Literature, Louisiana State University