Onega, Susana and Jean-Michel Ganeau, eds, Ethics and Trauma in Contemporary
British Fiction. DQR Studies in Literature series. Rodopi: Amsterdam and New York.
2011 (ISBN: 978-90-420-3326-9; 330 pp)
This volume is the first book of criticism to provide a systematic analysis of a corpus of
emblematic contemporary British fictions from the combined perspective of trauma theory
and ethics. Although the fictional work of writers such as Graham Swift has already been
approached from this perspective, none of the individual works or authors under analysis in
the 12 essays collected in this volume has been given such a systematic and in-depth scrutiny
to date. This study, which is addressed to academics and university students of British
literature and culture, focuses on the literary representation of trauma in key works by Martin
Amis, J. G. Ballard, Pat Barker, John Boyne, Angela Carter, Eva Figes, Alan Hollinghurst,
Delia Jarrett-Macauley, A.L. Kennedy, Ian McEwan, Michael Moorcock, Fay Weldon and
Jeanette Winterson, within the context of the “ethical turn” in the related fields of literary
theory and moral philosophy that has influenced literary criticism over the last three decades,
with a special focus on the ethics of alterity, the ethics of truths, and deconstructive ethics.
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