The Gothic in Contemporary British Trauma Fiction

  • Ashlee Joyce

About this book


This book examines the intersection of trauma and the Gothic in six contemporary British novels: Martin Amis’s London Fields, Margaret Drabble’s The Gates of Ivory, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Pat Barker’s Regeneration and Double Vision, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. In these works, the Gothic functions both as an expression of societal violence at the turn of the twenty-first century and as a response to the related crisis of representation brought about by the contemporary individual’s highly mediated and spectatorial relationship to this violence. By locating these six novels within the Gothic tradition, this work argues that each text, to borrow a term from Jacques Derrida, “participates” in the Gothic in ways that both uphold the paradigm of “unspeakability” that has come to dominate much trauma fiction, as well as push its boundaries to complicate how we think of the ethical relationship between witnessing and writing trauma.


British fiction trauma studies gothic studies witnessing magical realism science fiction voyeuristic

Authors and affiliations

  • Ashlee Joyce
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

Bibliographic information