In The Business of Reading, Julian Lovelock charts the development of the English novel over the past hundred years. Smuggling in titles from Scotland, Ireland and the Caribbean, he focuses on twenty texts written since the end of the First World War, some well-known but others less so, placing them in their historical context. Novelists represented range from D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf, through Graham Greene, Kingsley Amis and Iris Murdoch, to such contemporary writers as Ian McEwan, Maggie O’Farrell and Graham Swift.
Written in a lucid style that reflects his expertise and enthusiasm, Lovelock’s innovative selection, perceptive analysis and lightness of touch will appeal to the general reader, the book club member and the student. He argues that our response as readers is an important part of the creative process, and while he mainly avoids the critical ‘-isms’ that have characterised recent academic debate, he introduces such concepts as intertextuality, metafiction and the role of the often unreliable narrator, showing how an appreciation of the way the language of fiction works can only add to our understanding and enjoyment.