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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Criticsm » European » English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Reading Fiction

Opening the Text

By Peter Childs

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Format: Paperback / softback, 190 pages
Other Information: glossary, index, further reading
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 April 2001
In what ways does the opening of a novel relate to the narrative that unfolds from it? What are the different approaches to close reading a page of prose fiction? How does reading a text for a second time affect our understanding of the significance of its opening? In this unique book, Peter Childs discusses the opening lines of 24 widely-studied literary texts from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These analyses amount to both an overview of modes of fiction over the last 300 years and also a guide to techniques of close reading. The extracts are taken from the work of novelists ranging from Jane Austen to Salman Rushdie. This stimulating and illuminating book will be a useful text for undergraduates studying the novel and involved in critical appreciation and close textual analysis. Texts discussed: Robinson Crusoe, Tristram Shandy, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Silas Marner, Tess of the D'urbervilles, The Turn of the Screw, Heart of Darkness, The Good Soldier, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Life and Death of Harriet Frean, A Passage to India, Mrs Dalloway, Brave New World, The Road to Wigan Pier, Goodbye to Berlin, Under the Volcano, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Bloody Chamber, Shame, and The Buddha of Suburbia.

Table of Contents

Preface Introducing the Text Glossary Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe Laurence Sterne: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice Mary Shelley: Frankenstein Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights Charles Dickens: Great Expectations George Eliot: Silas Marner Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles Henry James: The Turn of the Screw Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness Ford Madox Ford: The Good Soldier James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man May Sinclair: The Life and Death of Harriett Frean E. M. Forster: A Passage to India Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway Aldous Huxley: Brave New World George Orwell: The Road to Wigan Pier Christopher Isherwood: Goodbye to Berlin Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber Salman Rushdie: Shame Hanif Kureishi: The Buddha of Suburbia Index

About the Author

PETER CHILDS is Senior Lecturer in English at Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education.


'Useful background reading for an introductory course on the novel and the changes of the genre across two centuries.' - Ann Heilman, University of Wales Swansea 'A varied selection of novels examined - from an interesting and valid context.' - David Olive, Manchester Metropolitan University

EAN: 9780333801345
ISBN: 0333801342
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Dimensions: 21.59 x 14.83 x 1.09 centimetres (0.25 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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