Flat-World Fiction

Digital Humanity in Early Twenty-First-Century America

Title Details

Pages: 230

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 12/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6056-0

List Price: $30.95


Pub Date: 12/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6055-3

List Price: $114.95

Flat-World Fiction

Digital Humanity in Early Twenty-First-Century America

Depictions of digital technology and its sociopolitical underpinnings

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Flat-World Fiction analyzes representations of digital technology and the social and ethical concerns it creates in mainstream literary American fiction and fiction written about the United States in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. In this period, authors such as Don DeLillo, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Joshua Ferris, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mohsin Hamid, Thomas Pynchon, Kristen Roupenian, Gary Shteyngart, and Zadie Smith found themselves not only implicated in the developing digital world of flat screens but also threatened by it, while simultaneously attempting to critique it. As a result, their texts explore how human relationships with digital devices and media transform human identity and human relationships with one another, history, divinity, capitalism, and nationality.

Liliana M. Naydan walks us through these complex relationships, revealing how authors show through their fiction that technology is political. In the process, these authors complement and expand on work by historians, philosophers, and social scientists, creating accessible, literary road maps to our digital future.

Flat-World Fiction is decidedly timely. . . . Liliana M. Naydan's study is grounded in prior discussions of her subject matter, even as it engages new degrees of enslavement to the digital screen. . . . Like all good criticism, Naydan captures, withal, what literature distills in every age and from every technology: the perdurable and timeless in the human saga.

—David Cowart, author of The Tribe of Pyn: Literary Generations in the Postmodern Period

Naydan offers a useful synthesis of contemporary novels’ concerns about the ubiquity of digital devices.

—S. M. Anderson, University of Michigan

The central achievement of Flat-World Fiction lies in its coordination of multiple perceptive close readings, each of which provides exactly the type of humane inquiry and 'deep understanding' that Naydan wishes to nudge her readers toward. As such, this timely book belongs on the reading list of scholars in contemporary US literature.

—Alexander Starre, American Literary History

As a whole, Flat-World Fiction: Digital Humanity in Early Twenty-First-Century America is a collection of well-explored analyses of contemporary texts that speak to the digital world and its effect on society and the individual.

—Holly Eva Allen, South Atlantic Review

About the Author/Editor

LILIANA M. NAYDAN is an associate professor of English at Penn State Abington. She is the author of Rhetorics of Religion in American Fiction: Faith, Fundamentalism, and Fanaticism in the Age of Terror and the coeditor of Out in the Center: Public Controversies and Private Struggles and Terror in Global Narrative: Representations of 9/11 in the Age of Late-Late Capitalism. She lives in the greater Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania.