Course overview

On this course we will examine the following novels: The Stranger’s Child - Alan Hollinghurst. Last Orders - Graham Swift. A Pale View of Hills - Kazuo Ishiguro Innocence - Penelope Fitzgerald The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps - Michel Faber. These texts will take us inside contemporary British fiction, and earmark those authors who have contributed to the evolution of a distinctive voice in British fiction in the last fifty years, from the years of Thatcher, New Labour to the present. We will explore each writers’ techniques and themes, and how they address the themes of British identity. Discussions will be lively with plenty of opportunities to voice your opinions.

Course description

The years 1980 to 2011 were ones which saw enormous

alterations in the political and social fabric of Britain, and we

will discuss how our authors and texts confronted the

themes and problems thrown up by these years, which

sought to redefine the nature of British identity in terms of

class, gender and sexuality.

Alongside these discussions, we will navigate several

defining literary theories which have evolved such as

postmodernism, deconstructionalism and the rise of gender

theory. These subjects will be approached by close readings

and practical analysis of our texts, rather than through dry

exegesis. We will assess how literary theories aim to

communicate rather than obfuscate communication.

Each text is different in its approach to subject, though

several will confront the question of how literature

addresses historical and societal changes. Others will

demonstrate the extravagance of the authors’ imaginations,

and a preparedness to invent new and alternative worlds in

fiction which reflect back on the world of contemporary

Britain. This will embrace considerations of class,

consumerism, gender and sexuality.

By the course’s conclusion, one will be aware of the richness

of modern British prose and its continuingly vital

contribution to global literature.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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