The Reader's Companion to the
Wide-ranging and authoritative, The Reader's Companion to the Twentieth-Century Novel is a unique and invaluable guide to modern fiction written in English. Arranged chronologically from Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim to E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, it contains detailed accounts of some 750 novels from the United States, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean. All of the century's major novelists are represented, alongside less celebrated writers whose work has been unjustly neglected.
Each entry supplies a summary of the plot, places the novel in a biographical and historical context, and provides a provocative critical assessment. Written by a team of thirty-eight contributors made up of critics, biographers, novelists, historians, academics, and literary journalists, all entries are fully cross-referenced and supplemented at the end of the book by brief biographical notes on all authors and by helpful alphabetical indexes of novels and authors. Interwoven with the entries are also 150 short extracts illustrating the voice and style of many featured novels, from Rudyard Kipling's Kim to Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
A celebration of modern fiction and an indispensable aide-memoire, The Reader's Companion to the Twentieth-Century Novel is a book to be read for pleasure as well as consulted for reference.
UK Print – Oxford University Press, 1995
US Print – Oxford University Press, 1995
Praise for The Reader's Companion to the
"Peter Parker's excellent The Reader's Companion to the Twentieth-Century Novel, much more than any guide that I can think of, gives the sense of reading through the twentieth-century novel...The best thing about the Companion is its sheer unprejudiced catholicity." — Spectator
"This is a marvelous book that, as well as being a tool of research and a toy of reacquaintance, could also be given as an introduction to twentieth-century literature to someone who had read none of the listed books." — James Wood, Guardian
"An excellent buy.... An imaginative survey of the best modern fiction in English....The willingness to resurrect the half-forgotten as well as to celebrate the obvious is this reference book's great value." —
The Washington Post Book World
"Parker and Kermode have created an intriguing chronological guide to the modern novel by combining the structure of a time line with lively plot synopses.... A terrific resource." — Booklist
"A sumptuous feast, replete with delightful diversions.... Just reading through the appendixes can provide literature junkies with a fix before they even read the assessments of the novels.... A treasure trove of information, insights, and cues for learning more about modern English fiction." — School Library Journal
"Anyone with this book has no excuse not to find something rich and strange to read." —
San Antonio Express-News