Grief and community in British literature - new article in the Journal of the British Academy

4 Dec 2017

The British Academy has published a new article exploring the themes of eco-criticism, grief and community through the prism of British literature over the last thirty years.


In ‘Soliloquies of Suffering and Consolation: Fiction as Elegy and Refusal’, published in The Journal of the British Academy, author John Burnside uses the work of Graham Swift, Adam Thorpe, Michael Bracewell and Graham Harvey to argue that “the growth of ‘cultural totalitarianism’ (cf. Jonathan Franzen) has engendered, on the one hand, a primal impulse to preserve individual integrity against societal control, and on the other, a profound grief for the consequent loss of communal and ritual life.”


The article is available to read for free online.


John Burnside’s novels include The Devil’s Footprints (2007), Glister (2008), and A Summer of Drowning (2011). He is also the author of two collections of short stories, three memoirs and several prizewinning poetry collections. His most recent novel, a study of American grief, is Ashland & Vine, (Jonathan Cape, 2017).


Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on press@thebritishacademy.ac.uk  / 020 7969 5273 / 07500 010 432.

Sign up to our email newsletters