The most interesting French fiction since World War II is also the most revolutionary, exploring new narrative techniques and incorporating challenging new ideas in aesthetics, politics, psychoanalysis, gender, linguistics, and philosophy. This fiction looks strange and forbidding to American readers, however, which makes Roudiez’s overview of postwar French fiction a welcome guide.
In a revised and updated version of his French Fiction Today (Rutgers, 1972), Roudiez includes chapters on an important precursor—Raymond Roussel—and on thirteen of the most significant innovators in French fiction. A concluding chapter discusses younger writers (like Muriel Cerf and Patrick Grainville) who are carrying on this revolutionary activity, and an extensive bibliography includes all English translations of their work.
As the Virginia Quarterly Review said of the first edition, “This is a masterful analysis . . . which should serve handily as a thoroughly reliable guide and reference tool for many years to come.”