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Popular Fiction: The Logics and Practices of a Literary Field [Paperback]

Ken Gelder

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Book Description

Dec 30 2004 0415356474 978-0415356473 1
In this important book, Ken Gelder offers a lively, progressive and comprehensive account of popular fiction as a distinctive literary field. Drawing on a wide range of popular novelists, from Sir Walter Scott and Marie Corelli to Ian Fleming, J. K. Rowling and Stephen King, his book describes for the first time how this field works and what its unique features are. In addition, Gelder provides a critical history of three primary genres - romance, crime fiction and science fiction - and looks at the role of bookshops, fanzines and prozines in the distribution and evaluation of popular fiction. Finally, he examines five bestselling popular novelists in detail - John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, Jackie Collins and J. R. R. Tolkien - to see how popular fiction is used, discussed and identified in contemporary culture.

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Review

This is a book on which other explorations into this vast and largely uncharted territory will build on. Moving from a theoretically sophisticated overview, Gelder engages - closely, uncondescendingly, and entertainingly - with a stimulating range of samples. Most importantly it's enjoyable.
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–John Sutherland, University College London

With a deceptive ease arising from his familiarity with astonishing range of popular fictions, Gelder breaks new ground in treating popular fiction as a distinctive cultural field with its own logic. The result is a rare combination of clarity and accessibility and challenging insight.
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–Tony Bennett, The Open University

About the Author

Ken Gelder is a Reader in English at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His books include Reading the Vampire (Routledge 1994) and, with Jane M. Jacobs, Uncanny Australia: Sacredness and Identity in a Postcolonial Nation (Melbourne University Press, 1998). He is co-editor of The Subcultures Reader (1997) and editor of The Horror Reader (2000), both published by Routledge.

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