The anatomy of loss and the magic of fiction : Graham Swift's Here We Are

Title: The anatomy of loss and the magic of fiction : Graham Swift's Here We Are
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2023, vol. 49, iss. 1, pp. 99-112
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Rights access
open access

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Here We Are (2020), Graham Swift's latest novel to date, tells the story of a love triangle between three young variety artists over a few weeks in the summer of 1959. As it is narrated from the present-day perspective fifty years later, when the last surviving member of the trio looks back on her life, remembering in particular the events of the fateful summer which culminated in the tragic loss of her ex-fiancé, the novel at first sight resembles Swift's immediately preceding piece, Mothering Sunday (2016), which employs a similar narrative strategy and revolves around a similar central theme. This paper, however, argues that besides these similarities, Here We Are differs from Mothering Sunday in a number of key regards, which is why it can be read as its precursor's loose duology which complements rather than replicates it. This paper demonstrates that the novel not only combines its author's idiosyncrasies with the narrative forms and perspectives to which he has turned to recently, but also allows him, through metacommentary, to indirectly express his ideas concerning the social, ethical and aesthetic aspects of fiction writing.
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