Anxious reading: the precarity novel and the affective class

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter considers readings of the precarity novel, a mode of contemporary realism that depicts precarious subjects in the grip of escalating crises resulting from contemporary capitalism. It proposes that readers’ first response to these novels is a kind of anxiety which mirrors the depiction of anxiety within the text and then considers what kinds of interpretative readings emerge from this initial affective encounter. In particular it proposes that realism makes possible a kind of subjective solidarity which is the basis for the precariat as a form of class-consciousness originating in the affective encounter with the contemporary.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecarity in Contemporary Literature and Culture
EditorsEmily Hogg, Peter Simonsen
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781350166721, 9781350166714
ISBN (Print)9781350166707
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021


  • Work
  • Realism
  • Affect
  • Literary Theory


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