Book cover image for: Politics and Literature at the Turn of the Millennium

Politics and Literature at the Turn of the Millennium

Michael Keren

$34.95 CAD / $34.95 USD

272 pages

978-1-55238-799-3 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-801-3 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-55238-802-0 (ePub)

978-1-55238-803-7 (mobi)

August 2015

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About the Book

A clear introduction to contemporary literature with that shows how important insights on the deep phenomena haunting the world and new perspectives on the complexity of contemporary politics can be drawn from fictional work.

Politics and Literature at the Turn of the Millenium shows how important insights about genocide, poverty, state violence, world terrorism, the clash of civilizations, and other phenomena haunting the world at the turn of the millennium can be derived from contemporary novels, including works by José Saramago, Cormac McCarthy, Anosh Irani, John Le Carré, and Yann Martel, among others.

Michael Keren demonstrates ways in which fictional literature can provide new perspectives on the complexities and contingencies of contemporary politics. His fresh readings of well-known novels will be valuable not only for political scientists but also for anyone interested in current affairs who reads fiction but is not always aware of its power to provide enlightenment on world issues.

About the Author

Michael Keren is a professor in the Departments of Political Science and Communication, Media, and Film at the University of Calgary. He has lectured in many universities and other institutions worldwide and frequently comments on Israeli and global affairs in the media. He has authored numerous books including Blogosphere: The New Political Arena.

Praise for Politics and Literature at the Turn of the Millenium

Keren’s methodology yields insights into political and social theories . . . Politics and Literature at the Turn of the Millenium provides a clear introduction to contemporary literature— suitable for undergraduates—with useful commentary on escapism, evil, compassion, and justice.

—Allan Hepburn, University of Toronto Quarterly

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Politics and Literature

Chapter 2. The "Original Position" in Jose Saramagio’s Blindness

Chapter 3. Absurdity and Revolt in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Chapter 4. The Bystander’s Tale: Gil Courtemanche’s A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

Chapter 5. Fiction and the Study of Slums: Anosh Irani’s The Cripple and His Tailsmans

Chapter 6. Narrative and Memory and Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, Gunter Glass’ Crabwalk and Andre Brink’s The Rights of Desire

Chapter 7. The Politics of Victimhood in John le Carre’s Absolute Friends

Chapter 8. The Quest for Identity in Sayed Kashua’s Let it Be Morning

Chapter 9. Political Escapism in Contemporary Israel: David Grossman’s To the End of the Land

Chapter 10. Body and Mind in Margaret Atwood’s Orynx and Crake

Chapter 11. A Canadian Alternative to the Clash of Civilizations: Yann Martel’s Life of Pi