This has been a century of wars. These wars, as always, have inspired stories that record the great suffering they cause. Every war novel, someone once said, is an anti-war novel. Almost every war novel is an experiment of some kind as writers look for news ways to explore unprecedented experience. Erich Maria Remarque’s inter-war period novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam novel, The Things They Carried, have both entered the canon. Both were written by combatants. Irene Nemirovksy’s Suite Francais, a historical novel of the 1940s, and Pat Barker’s WWI novel, Life Class, were written by women who experienced war from the homefront. They are significant entries in the new category of women war novelists, evidence of women’s emerging voice.
Terrence Doody is a professor of English at Rice University, where he teaches courses in the modernist period, the novel and narrative theory, and contemporary literature. He is the author of Confession and Community in the Novel (Louisiana State University Press, 1980) and Among Other Things: A Description of the Novel (Louisiana State University Press, 1998) as well as essays on Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, and the poets Eavan Boland and Robert Hass. He is the recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is an eight-time winner of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching. He was voted Outstanding Associate of Lovett College in 1997 and was awarded the Allison Sarofim Distinguished Teaching Professor for 2002-2003.
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