This book offers an accessible critical introduction to the work of Graham Swift, one of Britain's most significant contemporary authors. Through detailed readings of his novels and short stories from 'The Sweet Shop Owner' (1980) to 'The Light of Day' (2003), Daniel Lea lucidly addresses the key themes of history, loss, masculinity and ethical redemption, to present a fresh approach to Swift. This study proposes that one of the side-effects of modernity has been the destruction of traditional pathways of self and collective belief, leading to a loss of understanding between individuals about their duties to each other and to society. Swift's writing returns repeatedly to the question of what we can believe in when all the established markers of identity - family, community, gender, profession, history - have become destabilised. Lea suggests that Swift increasingly moves towards a notion of redemption through a lived ethical practice as the only means of finding solace in a world lacking a central symbolic authority.
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(216mm x 138mm x 19mm)
Manchester University Press
Publisher: Manchester University Press
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Author Biography - Daniel Lea
Daniel Lea is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at Oxford Brookes University