Literary Criticism

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


David Peace

Texts and Contexts

Katy Shaw is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Brighton. Her research brings an inter-disciplinary, theoretical expertise on the field of the intersection between creative and factual writing as well as contributing to developments in the fields of poetry and the contemporary novel, language, identity and translation.

David Peace is an emerging author who is widely read and taught, and whose novels are increasingly translated into commercial film (The Damned United, March 2009) and television (Channel 4 adaptation of the Red Riding Quartet, March 2009). Dr. Katy Shaw's book provides a challenging but accessible critical introduction to his work through a detailed analysis of his writing, as well as the socio-cultural contexts of its production and dissemination. The author explores Peace’s attempts to capture the sensibilities of late twentieth century society and contributes to an ongoing debate in the media about Peace’s representations. Influenced by critical theory, the text will be the first secondary resource concerning this rising star of contemporary British literature

While UK readers will seek insight into the socio-cultural contexts of England’s regions (and in particular his writing on the Yorkshire Ripper and the 1985-5 miners’ strike), Peace also has a following in the US where both The Damned United and Red Riding are set to receive a national cinema release in 2009/10. This broad international appeal and readership will be explored and discussed, especially in the context of crime fiction and social engagement.

This text is the first critical resource concerning this author and will cover the full body of Peace’s writings to date, the debates this work has generated, and the often contentious representations offered by his novels.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-364-5
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $64.50
Release Date: December 2010
Page Extent / Format: 224 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Acknowledgements & List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Peace in Our Time

Chapter One: A Very Yorkshire Tale

Chapter Two: Words Fail

Chapter Three: Towards a Hauntology of the North

Chapter Four: Yorkshire Noir

Chapter Five: From the Picket Line to the Page

Chapter Six: The Life of Brian

Chapter Seven: Occupation and Defeat in the Tokyo Trilogy

Conclusion: His Dark Materials

Bibliography & Index

A lucid and informative introduction to a controversial rising star of contemporary British fiction, and an invaluable guide to Peace’s disturbing vision of the dark underside of Thatcher’s Britain.
Ian Haywood, author of Working-Class Fiction

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