‘Capital’ City: London, Contemporary British Fiction and the Credit Crunch

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Abstract

The emerging genre of ‘Crunch Lit’ uses fiction to respond to the 2007-2008 credit crisis. Focusing on different layers of city life, Faulks’s A Week in December (2009) and Lanchester’s Capital (2012) offer socio-economic cross sections of corporate architecture and town housing to generate new definitions of ‘capital’ cities. This article explores representations of a two-world London in these novels, a capital jointly populated by those who run and those who service city space. Offering insider views on the city – of ordinary houses now multi-million pound homes, and shifts in residence from frugal respectable citizens to decadent, debauched traders – these fictions foreground the breakdown of communities and emotional connections which occur as a result of the financial crisis. Representing financial architecture and minority invisibility, the article examines how and why Faulks’s A Week in December (2009) and Lanchester’s Capital (2012) offer the city as a lens through which to read the wider world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44
Number of pages53
JournalLiterary London
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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