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This essential introductory guide provides a comprehensive critical survey of the diverse and rich body of literary writing produced in England in the postwar period. John Brannigan explores the relationship between literature and history, and analyses how poets, playwrights and novelists have revisited notions of Englishness, represented Englands of the past, and sought to make new 'maps' of English culture and society. Orwell to the Present: Literature in England, 1945-2000 combines original readings of familiar texts with wide-ranging explorations of the principal themes and historical and cultural contexts of literature since the end of the Second World War. Writers considered in detail include: Martin Amis, Simon Armitage, Pat Barker, John Betjeman, Edward Bond, Angela Carter, Margaret Drabble, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Jean Rhys, Salman Rushdie, Sam Selvon, Graham Swift and Evelyn Waugh.