A fascinating variety of writing has been produced in the period since the Second World War. Much of this can be helpfully understood by reference to postmodernism. Many important texts in the period, however, are distorted when this label is applied to them, and others are actively anti-postmodernist.
Postmodern Literature accessibly defines postmodernism, compares and contrasts it with modernism, and places it in its historical context, especially in relation to crucial phenomena like Auschwitz, the clashing of ideologies, and the prevalence of propaganda and misinformation. It discusses the major theorists of postmodernism, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard, and demonstrates how their theories illuminate the work of postmodernist writers such as John Ashbery, Walter Abish and Angela Carter. It defines the key postmodern theories of language, race and gender--poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and feminism--and explores their often fraught relationships with postmodernism in relation to important writers such as Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich and Salman Rushdie.