Author(s): John Sutherland
This is the most complete history of fiction in English ever published. The world's greatest authority - arguably the only person who could have written it, John Sutherland - provides the lives of some 294 novelists writing in English, from the genre's seventeenth-century origins to the present day. Arranged in chronological order the novelist's lives are opinionated, informative, frequently funny and often shocking. Professor Sutherland's authors come from all over the world; their writings illustrate every kind of fiction from gothic, penny dreadfuls and pornography to fantasy, romance and high literature. The book shows the changing forms of the genre, and how the aspirations of authors to divert and sometimes to educate their readers, has in some respects, radically changed over the centuries, and in others - such as their interest in sex and relationships - remained remarkably constant.
John Sutherland is Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of English Literature at University College London. Twice on the Booker committee, in 2005 as chairman, he is a regular columnist and critic on radio and television. His books include How to Read a Novel (Profile), a bestselling trilogy on literary mysteries, and the moving memoir Last Drink to LA.