Waiting For the End : Gender and Ending in the Contemporary Novel

Waiting For the End : Gender and Ending in the Contemporary Novel

Earl G. Ingersoll, The College at Brockport

Located in Drake Library at: PR888.C587 I54 2007

CONTENTS: The beginning of the end -- Tales of the masculine narrative paradigm -- City of endings: Ian McEwan's Amsterdam -- The lure of the story: Kazuo Ishiguro's When we were orphans -- Writing like a boy: Stephen Millhauser's Edwin Mullhouse -- Writing "Like a man": Margaret Atwood's The blind assassin -- The metaphoricity ending: Colum McCann's This side of brightness -- Ending in a pickle: Salman Rushdie's Midnight's children -- A proliferation of endings: Graham Swift's Waterland -- The joke's on Freud: D.M. Thomas's The white hotel -- Undoing the Paradigm : perhaps -- The shell game of ending(s): John Fowles's The French lieutenant's woman -- "Double" ending by misunderstanding: Anthony Burgess's A clockwork orange -- Is there an ending in this text? David Lodge's Changing places -- The faked climax and the anticlimax in Joyce Carol Oates's Bellefleur -- Will the real author please stand up? Ian McEwan's Atonement -- Another question of ending: L.P. Hartley's The go-between -- An ending opening to the future: Margaret Atwood's The handmaid's tale -- Ending elsewhere: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso sea -- Escaping the paradigm by ignoring it -- The great circle: Doris Lessing's The golden notebook -- Recurrent circles: Nawal El Saadawi's The fall of the Imam -- Is there a novel in this text? Julian Barnes's A history of the world in 10 1/2 chapters -- Can two novellas make a novel? A.S. Byatt's Angels & insects -- Beginning again--and again: Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler -- Troubling linearity: Manlio Argueta's Cuzcatlán -- The ending is in the beginning: Jeanette Winterson's Written on the body.


By: Earl G. Ingersoll [College at Brockport emeritus].

"Waiting for the End examines two dozen contemporary novels within the context of a half century of theorizing about the function of ending in narrative. That theorizing about ending generated a powerful dynamic a quarter-century ago with the advent of feminist criticism of "masculinist" readings of the role played by ending in fiction. Feminists such as Theresa de Lauretis in 1984 and more famously Susan Winnett in her 1991 PMLA essay, "Coming Unstrung," were leading voices in a swelling chorus of theorists pointing out the masculinist bias of ending in narrative. With the entry of feminist readings of ending, it became inevitable that criticism of fiction would become "gendered" through the recognition of "difference" transcending a simple binary of female/male to establish a spectrum of masculine to feminine endings, regardless of the sex of the writer. Accordingly, Waiting for the End examines pairs of novels - one pair by Margaret Atwood and one by Ian McEwan - to demonstrate how a writer can offer endings at either end of the gender spectrum."--BOOK JACKET.