The Dilemmas of ‘Post-Communism’: Elizabeth Wilson’s The Lost Time Café

Andrew Hammond

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


Discussion of the merits and failings of socialism is one of the major features of post-1945 European literature. Although the literary right has dominated fiction in the West, left-wing writing has persisted into the twenty-first century, offering a powerful critique of the neoliberalism that has established control over continental integration. This essay examines this critique through a study of Elizabeth Wilson’s The Lost Time Café (1993), a British dystopian thriller set at the millennium’s end. Delving into the history of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Wilson argues that the radical tradition is necessary for understanding and solving the crises of the late twentieth-century, challenging the poverty, inequality and austerity of the post-welfarist European Union with a more socialist vision of united Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Novel and Europe
EditorsAndrew Hammond
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781137526274
ISBN (Print)9781137526267
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Modern European Literature

Bibliographical note

Andrew Hammomd, The Dilemmas of 'Post-Communism': Elizabeth Wilson’s The Lost Time Café, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan UK, reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:


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