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The New Atheist Novel is the first study of a major new genre of contemporary fiction. It examines how Richard Dawkins's so-called New Atheism' movement has caught the imagination of four eminent modern novelists: Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Philip Pullman. For McEwan and his contemporaries, the contemporary novel represents a new front in the ideological war against religion, religious fundamentalism and, after 9/11, religious terror: the novel apparently stands for everything freedom, individuality, rationality and even a secular experience of the transcendental that religion seeks to overthrow. In this book, Bradley and Tate offer a genealogy of the New Atheist Novel: where it comes from, what needs it serves and, most importantly, where it may go in the future. What is it? How does it dramatise the war between belief and non-belief? To what extent does it represent a genuine ideological alternative to the religious imaginary or does it merely repeat it in secularised form? This fascinating study offers an incisive critique of this contemporary testament of literary belief and unbelief.
Arthur Bradley is Senior Lecturer in Literary and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University, UK. Andrew Tate is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, UK.