Empowerment as a concept is making its impact on the field of literary studies. This volume shows its intricate relation to contemporary fiction in English, applying a broad range of approaches such as feminist, transcultural, and intersectional studies. Dealing with genres as diverse as dystopia, science fiction, TV adaptations, the historical novel, and immigrant fiction, this collection offers the first in-depth study of empowerment in literature. How, and to which end, do texts endow characters with power? In which ways can fiction become a tool of authorial self-empowerment? And which effects do such narratives have on readers? With this book, empowerment is put on the map of literary studies as a new, highly relevant critical concept stimulating fresh perspectives on contemporary fiction. Contributors: Peter Childs, Britta Maria Colligs, Sarah Dillon, Paul Hamann-Rose, Ralf Hertel, David Malcolm, Diana Thiesen, Eleanor Ty, Eva-Maria Windberger.
Ralf Hertel is Professor of English Literature (University of Trier) and has published widely on contemporary fiction, including
Making Sense: Sense Perception in the British Novel of the 1980s and 1990s and
On John Berger (co-edited with David Malcolm).
Eva-Maria Windberger is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Trier. Her PhD project investigated the poetics of empowerment in David Mitchell’s novels.
Notes on Contributors
Empowering Contemporary Fiction Ralf Hertel and Eva-Maria Windberger
PART 1 Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Literature
Feminist Fiction and Forms of Empowerment
Empowerment and the Representation of Science in Genetic Fiction Paul Hamann-Rose
Empowering the Reader and the Viewer
Strategies of Empowerment in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
and HBO’s Game of Thrones
Britta Maria Colligs
PART 2 Stories and Histories
'The Power to Liberate'
Telling Tales of the Contemporary Past Peter Childs
Of Memory Boxes and Rhizomatic Structures
Strategies of Empowerment in David Mitchell’s ‘Über-book’ Eva-Maria Windberger
The Empowering Allohistorical? Some Questions on a Stochastic Borderline
PART 3 Transcultural Perspectives
Xiaolu Guo’s Empowering Fictions
Empowerment through Multiple Voices
Culture, Media, and Identity in Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat
Of Monkey Kings and Fox Ladies
Intersectionality, Empowerment, and Myth in Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony
All interested in narrative studies, the literary negotiation of power and the forms of empowerment within fiction, and contemporary Anglophone writings in general.