Drawing on a variety of theoretical approaches including trauma theory, psychoanalysis, genre theory, narrative theory, theories of temporality, cultural theory, and ethics, this book breaks new ground in bringing together trauma and romance, two categories whose collaboration has never been addressed in such a systematic and in-depth way. The volume shows how romance strategies have become an essential component of trauma fiction in general and traumatic realism in particular. It brings to the fore the deconstructive powers of the darker type of romance and its adequacy to perform traumatic acting out and fragmentation. It also zooms in on the variations on the ghost story as medium for the evocation of trans-generational trauma, as well as on the therapeutic drive of romance that favors a narrative presentation of the working-through phase of trauma. Chapters explore various acceptations and extensions of psychic trauma, from the individual to the cultural, analyzing narrative texts that belong in various genres from the ghost story to the misery memoir to the graphic novel. The selection of primary sources allows for a review of leading contemporary British authors such as Peter Ackroyd, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Graham Swift, Sarah Waters and Jeanette Winterson, and of those less canonical such as Jackie Kay, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Justine Picardie, Peter Roche and Adam Thorpe.

chapter |14 pages

Traumatic Realism and Romance in Contemporary British Narrative

BySusana Onega, Jean-Michel Ganteau

part |53 pages

Ghost Stories, Repetition and the Transmission of Trauma

chapter |17 pages

“The past won't fit into memory without something left over”

Pat Barker's Another World, in between Narrative Entropy and Vulnerability
ByJean-Michel Ganteau

chapter |55 pages

Narratives of Distress and Individual Trauma

ByJean-Michel Ganteau, Susana Onega

chapter |19 pages

Romance, Trauma and Repetition

Testing the Limits of Love
ByLynne Pearce

chapter |17 pages

Purloining the Image of Trauma

Photography, Testimony and Self Articulation in Peter Roche's Unloved
ByFrédéric Regard

part |75 pages

Collective Trauma, History and Ethics

chapter |17 pages

“Strangers to ourselves”

Story-telling and the Quest for the Self in Martin Amis's Trauma Fictions
ByÁngeles de la Concha

chapter |18 pages

Individual Choice and Responsibility for the Other

Two Ethical Paths in the Representation of Trauma in Jeanette Winterson's and Graham Swift's Postmodernist Romances
ByChristian Gutleben

chapter |19 pages

“And to defeat that shadow … he had to take it in homeopathically, in minute quantities of conscious reparation”

Adam Thorpe's Unsentimental Historical Romances
ByMaria Grazia Nicolosi

part |43 pages

Therapeutic Romance

chapter |13 pages

From Traumatic Iteration to Healing Narrativisation in Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

The Therapeutic Role of Romance
ByAnne-Laure Fortin-Tournès

chapter |12 pages

Checking Out

Trauma and Genre in Ian McEwan's The Child in Time
ByBrian Diemert

chapter |16 pages

“Redeemed, Now and For Ever”

Traumatic and Therapeutic Realism in Peter Ackroyd's The House of Doctor Dee 1
ByJakob Winnberg