Professor Patricia Duncker
My work as a novelist over the past twelve years has explored the connections between canonical texts, in both European and English traditions, and the contemporary literary imagination.
I am not a naturalistic writer, but I insist on being both accessible and readable. I am interested in characters usually classed as outlaws, rogues, or figures that are dismissed as redundant, unnecessary, marginal to the norms of our culture. Like an eighteenth century novelist I look to plot to establish meaning - hence the strong stories and deliberate patterns.
My first novel Hallucinating Foucault (1996) has recently been re-issued by Bloomsbury. This book was a meditation on the mysterious relationship between the writer and the reader and the dangerous, creative act of reading. My most recent fiction is about language and the outsider - Miss Webster and Cherif (Bloomsbury, 2006), which explores an unusual friendship between an old English lady and a young Arab student in the paranoid political atmosphere post 9/11.
I also write short fiction and am interested in the novella as well as short stories. I have published two collections of short fiction: Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death (2003). The seven tales were a deliberate experiment in genre, register and the Gothic. I am an editor with Honno, The Welsh Women's Press and have, with Janet Thomas, edited three collections of short fiction. The most recent of which is Safe World Gone: Stories by Women from Wales (Honno, 2007). My involvement with women's writing and feminist publishing stretches back to my earliest student days and is a significant political commitment.
As an academic my research interests have migrated from the Romantic period to the contemporary; but nineteenth and twentieth century texts are discussed in my recent critical work: Writing on the Wall: Selected Essays (Rivers Oram/Pandora, 2002). A new Introduction to the Penguin edition of Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin (Penguin, 2005), pp. xi-xxxi, in a fresh translation by Helen Constantine marks my most recent foray into the territory of sexual identity, cross-dressing and queer theory.
My fiction has been translated into many languages: German, French, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Finnish, Greek, Turkish and Lithuanian. French and German are my other two languages and I am very interested in the practice of translation. I am currently involved in an experimental translation project - Apollinaire's Les Fenêtres - in many versions.
I would like to hear from students contemplating doctoral work that is either critical or creative (or both). Students who would like to write ambitious, experimental, literary fiction and/or investigate challenging, intellectual contemporary writing are welcome to contact me to discuss their proposals.
- Miss Webster and Cherif (Bloomsbury, May 2006)
- Seven Tales of Sex and Death (Picador 2003)
- The Deadly Space Between (Picador, 2002)
- James Miranda Barry (Serpent's Tail, 1999)
- Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (Serpent's Tail, 1997)
- Hallucinating Foucault (Serpent's Tail, 1996)
EDITED (With Janet Thomas)
- Safe World Gone (Co-edited with Janet Thomas) (Honno, 2007)
- Mirror Mirror (Co-edited with Janet Thomas) ( Honno, 2004)
- The Woman who Loved Cucumbers (Co-edited with Janet Thomas) ( Honno, 2002)
RECENT CRITICAL WORK
- Writing on the Wall : Selected Essays (Rivers Oram/ Pandora, 2002)
- 'Teithio yn yr Nos/ Nachtreise' A Bit on the Side: Ed Anna Kiernan (Parthian, 2007) Non Fiction/ Criticism / Forthcoming.
- A Writer's Writer: Patricia Duncker on George Eliot' New Welsh Review ; No 74 Winter 2006, pp. 93-95.
- Introduction to new Penguin edition and new translation by Helen Constantine of Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin ;;(Penguin, 2005), pp. xi-xxxi.
- The Difference of View' Exch a nge with Michele Roberts Pretext (No. 11 Autumn 2005) pp. 15-29.
- Katherine Mansfield: The Writer of the Submerged World' in Interrupted Lives in Liter a ture Ed. Andrew Motion (National Portrait Gallery, 2004), pp. 53-65.
- Mary Shelley's Afterlives: Biography a nd Invention' in Women: A Cultural Review ;Special Issue 'Hystorical Fictions' (sic) Vol. 15, No.2 (Summer 2004), pp.230-249.
- The Suggestive Spectacle;: Queer Passions in Brontë's Villette ;and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie'; Ed Martin McQuillan Theorising Muriel Spark;: Gender, R a ce Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis.; (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp.; 67-77.
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