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Reconstructing the Family in Contemporary American Fiction

Book Title

Reconstructing the Family in Contemporary American Fiction

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Publication Date

10-1998

Publisher

Peter Lang Publishing

Place of Publication

New York, NY

Keywords

American fiction, Domestic fiction, Families

Subject

American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism, Domestic fiction, American -- History and criticism, Families in literature

Department

English

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Description

The prevalence of alternative families in contemporary American fiction is significant given the concern and confusion precipitated by the decline in traditional nuclear families in recent decades. John Irving's The World According to Garp, Alice Walker's The Color Purple and E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime contain compelling utopian depictions of alternative families that are more egalitarian than traditional nuclear families. John Updike's Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux are interesting counterpoints to the optimistic novels of Irving, Walker, and Doctorow. Although Updike depicts the traditional nuclear family as the site of considerable ennui and unhappiness, attempts to flee or reconstruct the family in his novels are staggeringly destructive.

ISBN

FBC213

Document Type

Article

Reconstructing the Family in Contemporary American Fiction

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