Big collection focusing on Small Island author

Published: 2 April 2014 at 11:25

Dr Jeannette Baxter of Anglia Ruskin co-edits first book devoted to Andrea Levy

A book edited by Dr Jeannette Baxter, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University, and David James of Queen Mary, University of London, sheds new light on one of the most important voices in contemporary British writing.

Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Andrea Levy (Bloomsbury) is the first book of its kind to be devoted to Levy, famous for the Orange Prize for Fiction-winning Small Island, which was later adapted for TV by the BBC.  

The volume includes a new interview with Levy as well as a range of critical approaches to her fiction, written by established and emerging scholars.  Chapter six, ‘Exquisite Corpse: Un/dressing History in Fruit of the Lemon/The Long Song’, is written by Dr Baxter herself.

Dr Baxter has also been invited to speak about the publication at the Searching for Culture (SEFOC) International Cultural Studies conference at Palacky University, Olomouc in the Czech Republic in October.

Published in March, the book is already gaining acclaim from leading academics.  James Procter, Reader in Modern English & Postcolonial Literature at Newcastle University, described it as:

“A rich and judiciously edited collection offering (it’s hard to believe) the first book-length assessment of this major contemporary novelist.
“The chapters are beautifully balanced, exposing readers to a wide range of critical perspectives, from meticulous close readings of the novels to questions of literary form, reception, and adaptation.  The collection concludes with a revealing, previously unpublished interview with Andrea Levy.”

The book is part of Bloomsbury’s Contemporary Critical Perspectives series, for which Dr Baxter is one of the series editors.  

Eight volumes have been published since 2008, focusing on writers such as JG Ballard, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Salman Rushdie, Ali Smith and Sarah Waters.  Volumes on the work of Hanif Kureishi and Haruki Murakami are forthcoming.