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Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase

Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature

Edited by Brett Josef Grubisic, Gisèle M. Baxter, and Tara Lee
Subjects Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
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Paperback : 9781554589890, 450 pages, May 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589906, 450 pages, June 2014
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771120562, 450 pages, June 2014

Table of contents

Table of Contents Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase: Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature, edited by Brett Josef Grubisic, Gisèle M. Baxter, and Tara Lee
Introduction | Brett Josef Grubisic, Giséle M. Baxter, and Tara Lee
PART I Altered States
The Man in the Klein Blue Suit: Searching for Agency in William Gibson's Bigend Trilogy | Janine Tobeck
The Cultural Logic of Post-Capitalism: Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Popular Dystopia | Carl F. l. Miller
Logical Gaps and Capitalism's Seduction in Larissa Lai's Salt Fish Girl | Sharlee Reimer
“The Dystopia of the Obsolete”: Lisa Robertson's Vancouver and the Poetics of Nostalgia | Paul Stephens
Post-Frontier and Re-Definition of Space in Tropic of Orange | Hande Tekdemir
Our Posthuman Adolescence: Dystopia, Information Technologies, and the Construction of Subjectivity in M.T. Anderson's Feed | Richard Gooding
PART II Plastic Subjectivities
Woman Gave Names to All the Animals: Food, Fauna, and Anorexia in Margaret Atwood's Dystopian Fiction | Annette Lapointe
The End of Life as We Knew It: Material Nature and the American Family in Susan Beth Pfeffer's Last Survivors Series | Alexa Weik von Mossner
“The Treatment for Stirrings”: Dystopian Literature for Adolescents | Joseph Campbell
Imagining Black Bodies in the Future | Gregory Hampton
Brown Girl in the Ring as Urban Policy | Sharon DeGraw
PART III Spectral Histories
Archive Failure? Cielos de la Tierra's Historical Dystopia | Zac Zimmer
Love, War, and Mal de Amores: Utopia and Dystopia in the Mexican Revolution | María Odette Canivell
Culture of Control/Control of Culture: Anne Legault's Récits de Médilhault | Lee Skallerup Bessette
The Sublime Simulacrum: Vancouver in Douglas Coupland's Geography of Apocalypse | Robert McGill
Neoliberalism and Dystopia in U.S.–Mexico Borderlands Fiction | Lysa Rivera
America and Books are “Never Going to Die”: Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story as a New York Jewish “Ustopia” | Marleen S. Barr
In Pursuit of an Outside: Art Spiegelman's In The Shadow of No Towers and the Crisis of the Unrepresentable | Thomas Stubblefield
Homero Aridjis and Mexico's Eco-Critical Dystopia | Adam Spires
PART IV Emancipating Genres
Lost in Grand Central: Dystopia and Transgression in Neil Gaiman's American Gods | Robert Tally
Which Way is Hope? Dystopia into the (Mexican) Borgian Labyrinth | Luis Gómez Romero
Dystopia Now: Examining the Rach(a)els in Automaton Biographies and Player One | Kit Dobson
The Romance of the Blazing World: Looking back from CanLit to SF | Owen Percy
“It's not power, it's sex”: Jeanette Winterson's The PowerBook and Nicole Brossard's Baroque at Dawn | Helene Staveley
Another Novel is Possible: Muckraking in Chris Bachelder's U.S.! and Robert Newman's The Fountain at the Center of the World | Lee Konstantinou
About the Contributors


In Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase, twenty-five contributors investigate how dystopian fiction reflects twenty-first century reality, using diverse critical methodologies to examine how North America is portrayed in a perceived age of crisis, accelerated uncertainty, and political volatility.
Drawing from contemporary novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and the work of Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, and many others, this book examines dystopian literature produced by North American authors between the signing of NAFTA (1994) and the tenth anniversary of 9/11 (2011). As the texts illustrate, awareness of and deep concern about perceived vulnerabilities―ends of water, oil, food, capitalism, empires, stable climates, ways of life, non-human species, and entire human civilizations―have become central to public discourse over the same period.
By asking questions like “What are the distinctive qualities of post-NAFTA North American dystopian literature?” and “What does this literature reflect about the tensions and contradictions of the inchoate continental community of North America?” Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase resituates dystopian writing within a particular geo-social setting and introduces a productive means to understand both North American dystopian writing and its relevant engagements with a restricted, mapped reality.


Not only does it have the coolest title, but Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase is also among the best-edited volumes on SF published last year … As a study of North American texts, it addresses the continent’s tri-lingual colonial heritage, including five essays on Spanish-language and two on French-language texts. Reasonably priced for its heft, rigorous in its approach, this volume offers an extended interrogation of how contemporary writers extrapolate the detrimental effects of neoliberalism, the ongoing vicissitudes of European colonization of the Americas, and the dehumanizing aspects of global capitalism. At the same time, it covers a staggering array of texts and writers; above all, like NAFTA itself, it seeks to erase the national borders that all too often artificially compartmentalize literary studies, ultimately decentring the US by forcing readers to rethink the equation US = America

- Amy J. Ransom, SFRA Review, 2015 June 1

With an introduction and twenty-five separate essays, Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase covers impressive ground.... The rewards of engaging the text as a whole are great.... The effect produced is one of cycling defamiliarization, a shuffling of imagined destinies and short-circuited hopes that comprise a dauntingly heterogeneous futurity.... Whether for teaching or research, I anticipate this collection will prove an invaluable reference, opening up new pathways and connections for those well versed in science fiction's dystopian variants as well as for those newly embarking down the pathways of the future.

- Brent Bellamy, English Studies in Canada, 40.2-3, January 2015, 2015 March 1