Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction: Books

By North, Kate | The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE, April 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction: Books


North, Kate, The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction. By Judie Newman. Routledge, 182pp, Pounds 80.00. ISBN 9780415899123. Published 16 January 2013

In 2002 Martin Amis said: "After a couple of hours at their desks on September 12, 2001, all the writers on earth were reluctantly considering a change of occupation." Many said that 9/11 could not, or should not, be written about; others argued to the contrary. And, as Amis implies, the compulsion of the writer is to address such events.

The intervening decade has provided readers with a plethora of literature written in response to or referencing the attacks on the Twin Towers. Those works have, in turn, given rise to a stream of books analysing the literary response to the act of terror. Some are concerned with contextualising works in the light of those written about previous conflicts; others seek to overview and analyse the literary responses generated.

Judie Newman's Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction represents a sharper focus on the concept of terror in relation to the seemingly contradictory notion of Utopia. Focusing on texts published in the past 15 years, she begins investigating those that address the concept of Utopia through language and symbol.

She uses Amy Waldman's satirical short story Freedom to pose questions about the quest for Utopia and its relationship with desire. In an attempt to create a "happy" island nation for released prisoners, who closely resemble those held captive in Guantanamo Bay, Waldman's "freedom" becomes an exercise in the manipulation of desire by an autocratic dictator. Her story is set in a globalised world reliant on the commodification of emotion to drive it.

Newman furthers her investigation with a close reading of the imagery in the short stories of Kim Edwards, whose descriptions of "other worlds" are delivered as vivid moments of perfection. However, whose image of perfection is being explored, and what do these notions of perfection rely on? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Utopia and Terror in Contemporary American Fiction: Books
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.