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The Market Logics of Contemporary Fiction
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Book description

In the twenty-first century, leading publishers are under intense pressure from their conglomerate owners and shareholders to generate growth and profits. This book shows how these pressures have transformed the contemporary novel. Paul Crosthwaite argues that recent British and American authors have internalized the market logics of the financial sector and book trade, resulting in the production of works of 'market metafiction' in which authors reflect obsessively on their writing's positioning in the literary marketplace. The Market Logics of Contemporary Fiction reveals the entanglement of fictional narrative and market dynamics to be the central phenomenon of contemporary literary culture. It engages with work by key authors including Iain Sinclair, Don DeLillo, Kathy Acker, Bret Easton Ellis, Chris Kraus, Percival Everett, David Foster Wallace, Colson Whitehead, Anne Billson, Hari Kunzru, Barbara Browning, Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, Tao Lin, Nell Zink, Joshua Cohen, Sheila Heti, and Garth Risk Hallberg.


'Paul Crosthwaite engages deeply and thoughtfully with the fields of economics and economic history to produce a study that is genuinely interdisciplinary in scope. The book reconfigures economic concepts as formal strategies to great effect, generating highly original pairings and readings that are both insightful and persuasive. The book is superbly polished in its execution and a pleasure to read.'

Janice Ho - University of Colorado

'The Market Logics of Contemporary Fiction offers an original and stimulating account of the intersections among imaginative writing, literary publishing, and high finance in the post-1970 period. Dealing with an array of prominent British and American novelists, and contributing substantially to debates in the new economic criticism, Paul Crosthwaite's book represents a major scholarly achievement. It should be read by anyone interested in the economic contexts and content of postmodern writing and should play a substantial role in reshaping the teaching of contemporary literature to new generations of students. I will recommend this book to my own students as a must-read account of the last few decades in fiction.'

Adam Kelly - University of York

‘… scholars of economics as well as scholars of literature will benefit from this study.’

L. A. Brewer Source: Choice

‘… an exemplary work of literary historiography that offers a sophisticated account of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Anglo-American literary culture … a compelling and highly readable account of the complicated relationship between financialization, the publishing industry, authorship, and the novel in the final decades of the twentieth century and the opening decades of the twenty-first … Crosthwaite’s book is an astute historicizing of the contemporary field of literary fiction that is at once expansive and detailed, broad and nuanced. There is a great deal that will be of value here to scholars interested in the intersection of contemporary literary theory with the material conditions of the publishing industry. And by bringing the latter to bear on the former, Crosthwaite has made a significant contribution to our understanding of both.'

Hamilton Carroll Source: American Literary History

‘… ambitious, exciting, and engaging effort that make substantial scholarly contributions to unpacking the representational challenges for the novel in our present moment of finance capitalism … Across such a richly researched book, Crosthwaite is highly sensitive to the needs of the reader … deeply rewarding work.’

Andrew Rowcroft Source: Textual Practice

‘… an innovative contribution to an increasingly vibrant field of research … It must be one of the study’s most impressive aspects that it brings together such a wide array of influences, and with such apparent ease, not only describing but ultimately practicing the meaning of transdisciplinary inquiry.’

Caroline Koegler Source: C21 Literature: Journal of Twenty-First-Century Writings

‘The most striking aspect of Crosthwaite’s latest monograph is the delicate balancing of complex interpretations of the relationship between fiction and the market … The result of Crosthwaite’s success in negotiating this balance is that Market Logics is an attractive and engaging read for both newcomers to the economic humanities and experts alike … As a whole, Market Logics appeals to both ends of the academic spectrum, and excels in providing rigorous criticism … without excluding newer scholars from its argumentative process.’

Amy Bride Source: U.S. Studies Online

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