Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of my book *British Working-Class Fiction: Narratives of Refusal and the Struggle Against Work*, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

Best wishes,

Roberto del Valle Alcalá



British Working-Class Fiction: Narratives of Refusal and the Struggle Against Work offers an account of British literary responses to work from the 1950s to the onset of the financial crisis of 2008. Roberto del Valle Alcalá argues that throughout this period working-class writing develops new strategies of resistance against the social discipline imposed by capitalist work. As the latter becomes an increasingly pervasive and inescapable form of control and as its nature grows abstract, diffuse, and precarious, writing about it acquires a new antagonistic quality, producing new forms of subjective autonomy and new imaginaries of a possible life beyond its purview. By tracing a genealogy of working-class authors and texts that in various ways define themselves against the social discipline imposed by post-war capitalism, this book analyses the strategies adopted by workers in their attempts to identify and combat the source of their oppression. Drawing on the ideas of a wide range of theorists, including Mario Tronti, Antonio Negri, Gilles Deleuze and Giorgio Agamben, del Valle Alcalá offers a systematic and innovative account of British literary treatments of work. The book includes close readings of fiction by Alan Sillitoe, David Storey, Nell Dunn, Pat Barker, James Kelman, Irvine Welsh, Monica Ali, and Joanna Kavenna.



1. Introduction: British Working-Class Fiction and the Struggle Against Work

2. Between Capitalist Subsumption and Proletarian Independence: Alan Sillitoe, David Storey, and the Post-war Working Class
2.1. From consensus to antagonism, or, the post-war rebirth of subjectivity
2.2. From the factory to the social: Alan Sillitoe's proletarian subjects
2.3. Capitalist subjectivation in David Storey's This Sporting Life

3. Reproductive Work and Working-class Resistance in Transition: Nell Dunn and Pat Barker
3.1. Desire and the labour of subjectivity: on Nell Dunn's proletarian women
3.2. Reproduction in revolt: Pat Barker's Union Street
3.3. Prostitution, death, and the subversion of life in Blow Your House Down

4. Beyond Civil Society: Proletarian Exodus in James Kelman and Irvine Welsh
4.1. The collapse of measure: Postmodern abstraction and proletarian flight in James Kelman
4.2. Beyond civil society: On Irvine Welsh's Skagboys

5. Work in Crisis: Precarious Subversions in Monica Ali and Joanna Kavenna
5.1. Untamed Bodies, fleeing Minds: Monica Ali's In the Kitchen
5.2. 'Madness, the Absence of Work': On Joanna Kavenna's Inglorious

6. Conclusion