Disappearing Men examines the complex and rebellious representations of gender in the work of several writers of ‘devolutionary’ Scottish fiction in the period 1979 to 1999. The study focuses on the context of a ‘crisis in masculinity’ accompanying the rapidly changing male role in the period, concluding that men often disappear from sight in this writing, highlighting issues of male insecurity and female disorientation in a new gender landscape. Hence the novels examined here by authors James Kelman, Jancie Galloway, Jackie Kay, A.L. Kennedy and Alan Warner, strongly challenge the stereotype of the Scottish ‘hardman’ and his dominance in 20th century Scottish fiction.
Disappearing Men dissects this challenge by giving major consideration to the relationship between the innovative literary forms often found in this writing and the concepts of selfhood they give rise to. The possibilities inherent in these texts of reimagining gender identity and relations make them important contemporary documents of our struggles with realising selfhood and relations with others. A sustained and intimate analysis, this monograph will be of crucial interest to those concerned with issues of gender and representation in our rapidly changing era.
”… an invaluable addition to inquiries into the value and significance of dwelling for Scottish writers since the mid-nineteenth century, but also commendable for the method by which it outlines developments in ecological thought from this period onwards…” in:
Scottish Literary Review, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2011
Table of contents
Introduction: Dissonant Selves and the Literature of Gender Disorientation
Chapter One: James Kelman – “that was him, out of sight”: Masculine Models and Limitations
Chapter Two: Janice Galloway – “Defying Gravity”: Escaping the Attractions of Patriarchy
Chapter Three: Being Between: Passing and the Limits of Subverting Masculinity in Jackie Kay’s
Trumpet Chapter Four: A.L. Kennedy – Indelible Belief: The Quest for Faith in Uncertainty
Chapter Five: Alan Warner: Escape from Masculinity
Afterword: “Burying the Man That Was”