The Novel: An Alternative History

| September 12, 2011

Title: The Novel: An Alternative History (Beginnings to 1600)

Author: Steven Moore

Publisher: Continuum, 2011

Call Number: PN3451 .M66 2010g

From the Publisher:

Encyclopedic in scope and heroically audacious, The Novel: An Alternative History is the first attempt in over a century to tell the complete story of our most popular literary form. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the novel did not originate in 18th-century England, nor even with Don Quixote, but is coeval with civilization itself. After a pugnacious introduction, in which Moore defends innovative, demanding novelists against their conservative critics, the book relaxes into a world tour of the premodern novel, beginning in ancient Egypt and ending in 16th-century China, with many exotic ports-of-call: Greek romances; Roman satires; medieval Sanskrit novels narrated by parrots; Byzantine erotic thrillers; 5000-page Arabian adventure novels; Icelandic sagas; delicate Persian novels in verse; Japanese war stories; even Mayan graphic novels. Throughout, Moore celebrates the innovators in fiction, tracing a continuum between these premodern experimentalists and their postmodern progeny.

Irreverent, iconoclastic, informative, entertaining—The Novel: An Alternative History is a landmark in literary criticism that will encourage readers to rethink the novel.

About the Author:

Steven Moore (Ph.D. Rutgers, 1988) is the author of several books and essays on modern literature. From 1988 to 1996 he was managing editor of the Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive Press, and for decades he has reviewed books for a variety of journals and newspapers, principally The Washington Post. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

On the Web:

Continuum Books

Author’s Site