This book has had a long gestation, longer than I expected, and I have many people to thank for helping me get here. I wish to express my gratitude to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Keele for granting me research leave to complete this work.

I am grateful to my mentor Zoë Wicomb for her belief, her criticism, her patience, and support. I wish to thank my colleagues for the inspiring conversations, my students for being challenging and curious, and all my friends for their unfailing encouragement.

Justine Tally’s suggestions and enthusiasm for my work have been invaluable. I am thankful to Nicholas Bentley and James Peacock for reading drafts; to Gemma Scott for her assistance with editing and formatting; to Ben Anderson, Rachel Bright, Fiorella Montero Diaz, Ceri Morgan, Shalini Sharma, and Nicholas Seager for encouraging me throughout the process, especially in moments of disbelief. I owe deep thanks to the anonymous reviewers for providing insightful comments; to the editor Masja Horn – our chat during a conference break was a crucial incentive to complete this project.

I am indebted to my husband Sébastien for his enduring support over these years – and for plenty of gluten free meals.

A section of Chapter 2 has been published in Neither East nor West (2008, ed. K. Shands); a version of Chapter 3 appeared in Modern Fiction Studies 58.2 (2012); some of my analyses of Jazz and Love were published in student journals Ecloga 4 (2005), and eSharp 10 (2007) respectively.