This book examines representations of the specter in American twentieth and twenty-first-century fiction. David Coughlan's innovative structure has chapters on Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, and Philip Roth alternating with shorter sections detailing the significance of the ghost in the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, particularly within the context of his 1993 text, Specters of Marx. Together, these accounts of phantoms, shadows, haunts, spirit, the death sentence, and hospitality provide a compelling theoretical context in which to read contemporary US literature. Ghost Writing in Contemporary American Fiction argues at every stage that there is no self, no relation to the other, no love, no home, no mourning, no future, no trace of life without the return of the specter-that is, without ghost writing.
Chapter One. Introduction: Of Spectrality
Chapter Two. Mimes and Phantoms: Don DeLillo
Chapter Three. One Pace After the Other: Paul Auster
Chapter Four. Exit Ghost Writer: Philip Roth
Chapter Five. Passing Through: Marilynne Robinson
Chapter Six. Gone sometime. Home to stay: Marilynne Robinson
Chapter Seven. Haunted Homes: Toni Morrison