Disappear Here

Violence after Generation X

Naomi Mandel


280 pp. 6x9

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Table of Contents


Disappear Here provides a Gen-X aesthetic of violence that is insightful and provocative. This study should be of interest to several audiences—to Gen Xers themselves who are curious about their own generational identity, to students of contemporary American fiction and film, and to historians of recent American culture interested in the impact of globalization and digitization. The study’s greatest appeal will be to theorists concerned with violence, mimesis, and the increasingly complex interrelations between fiction and ‘reality.’” —Joel Black, University of Georgia

 “Disappear Here is bound to establish Mandel as the expert on the subject of violence in contemporary (American) fiction. Mandel’s oeuvre, from Against the Unspeakable and her co-edited collection Novels of the Contemporary Extreme to this new book, now consists of the most sustained and far-reaching scholarship on the matter. Disappear Here has the real potential to make us rethink how we engage the question of violence not only in our writing but also, crucially, in our classes with our students.” —Marco Abel, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Generation X, comprised of people born between 1960 and 1980, is a generation with no Great War or Depression to define it. Dismissed as apathetic slackers and detached losers, Xers have a striking disregard for the causes and isms that defined their Boomer parents. In Disappear Here: Violence after Generation X, Naomi Mandel argues that this characterization of Generation X can be traced back to changing experiences and representations of violence in the late twentieth century.

Examining developments in media, philosophy, literature, and politics in the years Xers were coming of age, Mandel demonstrates that Generation X’s unique attitude toward violence was formed by developments in home media, personal computing, and reality TV. This attitude, Mandel contends, is key to understanding our current world of media ubiquity, online activism, simulated sensation, and jihad. With chapters addressing both fictional and filmic representations of violence, Mandel studies the work of Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, Claire Messud, Jess Walter, and Jonathan Safran Foer. A critical and conceptual tour de force, Disappear Here sets forth a new, and necessary, approach to violence, the real, and real violence for the twenty-first century.

Naomi Mandel

Naomi Mandel is Professor of English and Film Media at the University of Rhode Island.