Radical Realism, Autofictional Narratives and the Reinvention of the Novel

Doloughan, Fiona J. (2023). Radical Realism, Autofictional Narratives and the Reinvention of the Novel. Anthem Frontiers of Global Political Economy and Development. London: Anthem Press.

URL: https://anthempress.com/radical-realism-autofictio...


This monograph treats modes of fictionality in contemporary auto/biography, memoir and autofiction. Within the context of what some writers see as the fabrication and fakery of the traditional novel and given their desire to move closer in their writing to the ‘truth’ of ‘reality’, the monograph focusses on the work of four authors (Karl Ove Knausgaard, Rachel Cusk, Jeanette Winterson, and Xiaolu Guo), all of whom have produced novels, as well as autobiographically informed works and accounts of their lives, along a fact-fiction continuum. Against the backdrop of a seeming hunger for reality, and a distrust of fabrication, the monograph is interested in revisiting assumptions about genre, with a view to problematizing conventional understandings of what separates fiction and non-fiction. In focussing on specific works by the named authors, it seeks to show the extent to which their work enacts aspects of a contemporary concern with the nature and constitution of reality, and the status of an auto/biographical subject produced through writing.

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