The first book length study of the conceptualization and representation of islands in popular fiction.
'Island Genres, Genre Islands' moves the debate about literature and place onto new ground by exploring the island settings of bestsellers. Through a focus on four key genres—crime fiction, thrillers, popular romance fiction, and fantasy fiction—Crane and Fletcher show that genre is fundamental to both the textual representation of real and imagined islands and to actual knowledges and experiences of islands. The book offers broad, comparative readings of the significance of islandness in each of the four genres as well as detailed case studies of major authors and texts. These include chapters on Agatha’s Christie’s islands, the role of the island in ‘Bondspace,’ the romantic islophilia of Nora Roberts’s Three Sisters Island series, and the archipelagic geography of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea. Crane and Fletcher’s book will appeal to specialists in literary studies and cultural geography, as well as in island studies.
This is a highly original and hugely readable book, offering detailed readings of texts by all our favourite genre writers, from Agatha Christie to Ursula K. Le Guin. It is the Island focus, however, that really secures its significance. The range of islands is genuinely global, the intellectual ‘reach’ both serious and innovative, and the research-base impressive. I loved it. Lucie Armitt, Professor of Contemporary English Literature, University of Lincoln, UK
Atlantis, Avalon, Utopia, Lilliput, Treasure Island, and so on: fictional islands have always captivated the literary imagination. Unsurprisingly, then, the study of the insula in popular fiction presents a unique perspective upon the literary geography of this evocative space. In Island Genres, Genre Islands, Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher explore the fascinating relations between the representative site of the island and popular genre fiction. Focusing on four distinctive genres—crime fiction, thrillers, romance, and fantasy—Crane and Fletcher disclose the effects of the insular locale on a number of bestsellers, and thus offer a major contribution to studies of popular culture, spatiality, and comparative literature. Robert T. Tally Jr., Associate Professor of English, Texas State University, USA
Given the importance of the field of island studies in the past decade, this is a timely examination of the western literary imagination in contemporary island genre fiction. Arguing for the need to think beyond metaphor to the issue of genre, Crane and Fletcher helpfully direct our attention to detective novels, thrillers, romance, and fantasy. Taking us on a journey through a geographic imaginary of space and place, island and archipelago, land and water, and other spatial tropes, the authors insightfully engage the work of Agatha Christie, G.W. Kent, Ian Fleming, Clive Cussler, Nora Roberts, Margaret Evans Porter, Ursula LeGuin, and Robin Hobb. Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
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Ralph Crane is Professor and Head of English at the University of Tasmania. He has written or edited over twenty books, and published numerous journal articles and book chapters, mainly in the area of colonial and postcolonial fictions. His recent work includes several publications in the area of island studies.
Lisa Fletcher is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Tasmania. She is the author of Historical Romance Fiction: Heterosexuality and Performativity (2008) and the editor of Popular Fiction and Spatiality: Reading Genre Settings (2016). Her current research focuses on Australian popular fiction in the twenty-first century.