An Unfamiliar World that We Recognise: Essay Collection on Rick Hudson's Shrapnel

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2012 saw the publication of the short story writer Rick Hudson's first novel Shrapnel; this collection invites submissions of essays between 3,000 and 6,000 words long which interrogate this novel from a variety of perspectives and engage with a the numerous themes and issues that arise in the text. We believe that this novel is worthy of critical assessment for numerous reasons including the novelist's unusual position of his work being located in both 'literary' and 'popular' fiction and, of course, the novelist's distinction as a remarkably skilled writer and his claim (albeit comic) to be 'The Writer Hero Reborn'. Prospective contributors are invited to consider critics' remarks such as 'Hudson is the James Joyce figure English literature has always lacked and the most significant writer Manchester has produced since Anthony Burgess', '[Hudson's writing is marked by] phenomenal ability to use language and the lyrical, striking and often beautiful style he employs', '[Hudson's writing is] nothing short of brilliant and inspiring. Horror and fantasy enthusiasts will be interested in Hudson's work as he has constructed truly original fiction out of an over-mined genre, while writers of all genres will no doubt marvel at Hudson's mastery of language and literary technique'. We invite informal enquiries and 300 word formal abstracts (both to be accompanied by a very brief biography) from academics at all stages of their careers. We envisage that this collection will be published in 2014 and will feature an introduction by the author himself. All final versions of essays are to be written in MLA style.
Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

Hudson and the return of the 'writerly' writer / writer hero
The influence of popular culture on Shrapnel
The influence of comic books / graphic novels on Shrapnel
Hudson as horror and literary writer
The impact of Moby Dick on Shrapnel
Heroism and masculinity in Shrapnel
Lacanian interpretations of Shrapnel
Comedy in Shrapnel.
Hudson and his publicity mechanisms and the commodification of the author as sexual object.
Influence of Hudson's academic background on his writing (Lacanian and Bakhtinian criticism)
Influence of Graham Greene, and / or other writers who have attempted to bridge the gulf between popular and literary fiction.
Hudson as 'Northern' writer and /or comparisons with Anthony Burgess.
Hudson as 'The James Joyce figure English Literature has always lacked'.
Hudson's short fiction: 'The Museum of lost Toys', 'A Jar of Pickled Nightmares' etc.
Critical comparisons of Hudson's work with that of Angela Carter, William Faulkner or Ted Hughes.
Hudson as 'punk / heavy metal' author.
We would also welcome essays that are based upon interviews with the author.

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