Open Access (free)
Author: Peter Morey

Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

Open Access (free)
Author: David Brauner

This is a comprehensive and definitive study of the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson. It offers lucid, detailed and nuanced readings of each of Jacobson’s novels, and makes a powerful case for the importance of his work in the landscape of contemporary fiction. Focusing on the themes of comedy, masculinity and Jewishness, the book emphasises the richness and diversity of Jacobson’s work. Often described by others as ‘the English Philip Roth’ and by himself as ‘the Jewish Jane Austen’, Jacobson emerges here as a complex and often contradictory figure: a fearless novelist; a combative public intellectual; a polemical journalist; an unapologetic elitist and an irreverent outsider; an exuberant iconoclast and a sombre satirist. Never afraid of controversy, Jacobson tends to polarise readers; but, love him or hate him, he is difficult to ignore. This book gives him the thorough consideration and the balanced evaluation that he deserves.

Philip Nanton

boundary crossing. 5 The winning of the 2015 Man Booker Prize by James for this novel might suggest canonisation, but if so, what canon? James’s achievement transcends the boundary of Caribbean writing. The fact that it has been taken up by HBO to be made into a TV series arguably suggests its contiguity with other popular forms. Among his influences James cites William Faulkner, Roberto Bolano and comic

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
Open Access (free)
David Brauner

interface between Jewishness and “Englishness” in his work’ ( Gilbert 2013 : 9). In their introduction to a special edition of European Judaism on contemporary British Jewish writing, the editors, Axel Stähler and Sue Vice, recognise ‘a dazzling burst in the productivity of British Jewish literature’, ‘characterized by a new confidence’ ( Stähler and Vice 2014 : 3) and endorsed by a series of prestigious literary awards, most notably the Nobel Prize for Harold Pinter, the Orange Prize for Naomi Alderman and Linda Grant and of course Jacobson’s own Man Booker Prize

in Howard Jacobson
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David Brauner

a hilariously comic provocateur; a passionate polemicist and an ardent advocate of ‘ambiguity and contradiction’ ( Jacobson 2012a : xiii); the author of (in his own words) ‘the most Jewish novel that has ever been written by anybody, anywhere’ ( Buckley 2006 : 23), whose literary heroes are Jane Austen and D.H. Lawrence, Jacobson revels in ambivalence. These protean qualities are reflected in the range and diversity of his work. Best known for his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Finkler Question (2010), Jacobson is, at the time of writing, the author of

in Howard Jacobson
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Sustainability, subject and necessity in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
Louise Squire

12 Circles unrounded: sustainability, subject and necessity in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi Louise Squire Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi (2002 [2001]) depicts the story of Pi, a boy who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat in the vast Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger. Having grown up in the setting of his family’s zoo in Pondicherry, Pi is faced with the loss of his family, who – on their way to a new start in Canada – go down with the ship, along with the remaining zoo animals. The central storyline, located in part 2 of the novel, is that of

in Literature and sustainability
Basil Glynn

Anglo-American television adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall . 10 British films featuring the King include Henry VIII and Catherine Howard (1910, director unknown). The following year Arthur Bourchier took the title role in a version of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (William Barker), described by historian Rachael Low as Britain’s ‘first really important feature film

in The British monarchy on screen
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Comedy, the anti-pastoral and literary politics
David Brauner

tenor of ‘Taking comic novels seriously’ was strategic: published just prior to the awarding of the Man Booker Prize to The Finkler Question , the complaint that comedy has been ghettoised in contemporary culture was arguably a form of covert lobbying. This is not to say that Jacobson’s arguments are purely self-interested, but rather that, as with all statements by artists about the nature of the field they work in, they are not entirely disinterested either, and need to be read in the context of their own poetics. The fullest statement of these poetics – and

in Howard Jacobson
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Philip Roth, antisemitism and the Holocaust
David Brauner

the novel, who is ultimately unable to see the point of life after the death of his wife. This suicide casts a shadow over the whole novel, as does the sense of a new wave of antisemitism in England, and in this sense The Finkler Question anticipates what is undoubtedly Jacobson’s bleakest novel, J . J (2014) In common with most of Jacobson’s previous novels, nothing much happens in the way of incident in J , the second of Jacobson’s novels to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The novel centres on the relationship between two characters with odd

in Howard Jacobson