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Romance fiction books

 

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The Historical Romance (Popular Fictions Series)

The Historical Romance (Popular Fictions Series)
£90.00

Everyone recognises the world of the historical romance – a windswept, sunset-ridden world of deep-plunge bodices where spirited young beauties challenge impossibly rugged heros, and where tempestuous yet unspoken sexual frisson can lead to a fantastic escape and, with love, to mutual liberation. The Historical Romance explores the ways in which romance authors have sought to represent our fantasies of life in the past ever since the first "cloak and dagger" tales captured the popular fiction market of the 1930’s. The book explores how, with the social upheaval of the war, these cut-and-thrust swashbucklers gave way to the female-oriented romances of Georgette Heyer and her successors, their qualities of fantasy and credibility and exaggerated romantic motifs representing the symbolic expression of women’s concerns. Hughes’ study leads us right up to the present day by exploring how authors as diverse as Conan Doyle and Barbara Cartland treat the question of female independence and how established attitudes towards loved, marriage and women’s sexuality have been both challenged and reaffirmed by more recent texts. Other themes include the abducted heroine and the disguised or wounded hero; the romantic treatment of popular and revolutionary movements, and "Englishness", national identity and the First World War. The author also charts the ways in which the marketing of romance has developed since the beginning of the century, culminating in the explosion of the mass market, the "bodice-rippers" of the seventies, and the family sagas of the eighties. The Historical Romance unravels the formulaic and mythical natures of historical romance to provide a fascinating study of this highly popular genre.

The Twilight of the Gothic: Vampire Fiction and the Rise of the Paranormal Romance (Gothic Literary Studies)

The Twilight of the Gothic: Vampire Fiction and the Rise of the Paranormal Romance (Gothic Literary Studies)
£85.00

This book explores the history of the paranormal romance genre; from its origins in the revisionist horror fiction of the 1970s, via its emergence as a minor sub-genre of romantic fiction in the early 1990s, to its contemporary expansion in recent years into an often-controversial genre of mainstream fiction. Tracing the genre from its roots in older Gothic fiction written by and for women, it explores the interconnected histories of Gothic and romantic fiction, from Ann Radcliffe and Jane Austen in the eighteenth century to Buffy, Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries in the present day. In doing so, it investigates the extent to which the post-Twilight paranormal romance really does represent a break from older traditions of Gothic fiction – and just what it is about the genre that has made it so extraordinarily divisive, captivating millions of readers whilst simultaneously infuriating and repelling so many others.

Ethics and Trauma in Contemporary British Fiction (DQR Studies in Literature)

Ethics and Trauma in Contemporary British Fiction (DQR Studies in Literature)
£74.43

This volume is the first book of criticism to provide a systematic analysis of a corpus of emblematic contemporary British fictions from the combined perspective of trauma theory and ethics. Although the fictional work of writers such as Graham Swift has already been approached from this perspective, none of the individual works or authors under analysis in the twelve essays collected in this volume has been given such a systematic and in-depth scrutiny to date. This study, which is addressed to academics and university students of British literature and culture, focuses on the literary representation of trauma in key works by Martin Amis, J. G. Ballard, Pat Barker, John Boyne, Angela Carter, Eva Figes, Alan Hollinghurst, Delia Jarrett-Macauley, A.L. Kennedy, Ian McEwan, Michael Moorcock, Fay Weldon and Jeanette Winterson, within the context of the "ethical turn" in the related fields of literary theory and moral philosophy that has influenced literary criticism over the last three decades, with a special focus on the ethics of alterity, the ethics of truths, and deconstructive ethics.

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (Contemporary Fiction)

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (Contemporary Fiction)
£67.82

Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world, come a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden, sisters who are very peculiar indeed, an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

The Golden Notebook (Contemporary Fiction)

The Golden Notebook (Contemporary Fiction)
£66.38

One of the most important books of the growing feminist movement of the 1950s, "The Golden Notebook" was brought to a wider public by the Nobel Prize award to Doris Lessing in 2007. Authoress Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive ‘golden notebook’ which draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook: sources of her creative inspiration in a black book, communism in a red book, the breakdown of her marriage in a yellow book, and day-to-day emotions and dreams in a black book. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ’50s. In this authentic, taboo-breaking novel, Lessing brings the plight of women’s lives, from obscurity behind closed doors, into broad daylight. "The Golden Notebook" resonates with the concerns and experiences of a great many women and is a true modern classic, thoroughly deserving of its reputation as a feminist bible. A notoriously long and complex work, it is given a new life by this – its first unabridged recording.

Kafka on the Shore (Contemporary Fiction)

Kafka on the Shore (Contemporary Fiction)
£58.80

"Kafka on the Shore" is the latest novel by Japan’s leading literary novelist, who developed a world-wide cult reputation with "Norwegian Wood". In "Kafka on the Shore", Murakami continues with his remarkable combination of profound insight into humankind, with a totally credible touch of the fantastical – a unique tour de force. The teenager Kafka Tamura goes on the run, and holes up in a strange library in a small country town. Concurrently, Nakata, a finder of lost cats, goes on a puzzling odyssey across Japan. Only gradually do we find how these stories interweave. An engaging but moving novel.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Playaway Adult Fiction)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Playaway Adult Fiction)
£58.16

A young girl lies in a hospital room, her tattooed body very close to death — there is a bullet lodged in her brain. Several rooms away is the man who tried to kill her, his own body grievously wounded from axe blows inflicted by the girl he has tried to kill. She is Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker and investigator, and the man is her father, a murderous Russian gangster. If Salander recovers from her injuries, she is more than likely to be put on trial for three murders — the authorities regard her as a dangerous individual. But she won’t see the inside of a courtroom if her father manages to kill her first. This is the high-tension opening premise of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s phenomenally successful trilogy of crime novels which the late author (a crusading journalist) delivered to his publisher just before his death. But does it match up to its two electrifying predecessors, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire? The success of Larsson’s remarkable sequence of books is, to some degree, unprecedented. Crime fiction in translation has, of course, made a mark before (notably with Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, published, in fact, by Larsson’s British publisher, Christopher MacLehose). But even the success of that book gave no hint of the juggernauts that the Salander books would be (the late author’s secondary hero is the journalist Blomqvist — who bears more than a passing resemblance to Stieg Larsson himself).There are two overriding reasons for the hold that this massive trilogy has attained on the public: machine-tooled plotting which juggles the various narrative elements with a master’s touch and (above all) the vividly realised character of Lisbeth Salander herself. She is something of a unique creation in the field of crime and thriller fiction: emotionally damaged, vulnerable and sociopathic (all of this concealed behind a forbidding Goth appearance), but she is also the ultimate survivor, somehow managing to stay alive despite the machinations of some deeply unpleasant villains (and the new book has a slew of those) as well as the hostility of often stupid establishment figures, who want her out of the picture quite as passionately as the bad guys. She is, of course, aided by the protective journalist Blomqvist, despite the fact that she had dumped him as a lover. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest brings together all the elements that have made the previous books of the sequence so successful. Its relentless pace may be a bit exhausting for some readers, but most will be happy to strap themselves in for the ride. It’s just a shame that this will be the final book in the sequence (though conspiracy theorists are hinting that Larsson began another manuscript before his untimely death…) –Barry Forshaw


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