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Exoticizing the Past in Contemporary Neo-Historical Fiction

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This collection of essays is dedicated to examining the recent literary phenomenon of the 'neo-historical' novel, a sub-genre of contemporary historical fiction which deliberately and self-consciously re-imagines specific periods of history. The contributions reveal how, although set in the past, neo-historical fiction is very much aimed at answering the needs and This collection of essays is dedicated to examining the recent literary phenomenon of the 'neo-historical' novel, a sub-genre of contemporary historical fiction which deliberately and self-consciously re-imagines specific periods of history. The contributions reveal how, although set in the past, neo-historical fiction is very much aimed at answering the needs and preoccupations of the present, and discuss the extent to which, as a result, its representation of one historical period for consumption by another can at times rely on 'exoticizing' strategies. Yet, as the essays in this collection demonstrate, the neo-historical novel can also offer a powerful means of contesting the very exoticist drives it seems to perpetuate, through a process of historical re-appropriation and re-articulation which simultaneously brings to light and challenges persisting cultural misconceptions about the past.


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This collection of essays is dedicated to examining the recent literary phenomenon of the 'neo-historical' novel, a sub-genre of contemporary historical fiction which deliberately and self-consciously re-imagines specific periods of history. The contributions reveal how, although set in the past, neo-historical fiction is very much aimed at answering the needs and This collection of essays is dedicated to examining the recent literary phenomenon of the 'neo-historical' novel, a sub-genre of contemporary historical fiction which deliberately and self-consciously re-imagines specific periods of history. The contributions reveal how, although set in the past, neo-historical fiction is very much aimed at answering the needs and preoccupations of the present, and discuss the extent to which, as a result, its representation of one historical period for consumption by another can at times rely on 'exoticizing' strategies. Yet, as the essays in this collection demonstrate, the neo-historical novel can also offer a powerful means of contesting the very exoticist drives it seems to perpetuate, through a process of historical re-appropriation and re-articulation which simultaneously brings to light and challenges persisting cultural misconceptions about the past.

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