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ARB has been offered a review copy of Rachele Dini’s “All Electric” Narratives (Bloomsbury Academic).
If you are interested in reviewing this book for ARB, please reach out to the editors using the form below to express your interest.
From the publisher:
“All-Electric” Narratives is the first in-depth study of time-saving electrical appliances in American literature. It examines the literary depiction of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, oven ranges, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, toasters, blenders, standing and hand-held mixers, and microwave ovens between 1945, when the “all-electric” home came to be associated with the nation’s hard-won victory, and 2020, as contemporary writers consider the enduring material and spiritual effects of these objects in the 21st century.
The appropriation and subversion of the rhetoric of domestic electrification and time-saving comprises a crucial, but overlooked, element in 20th-century literary forms and genres including Beat literature, Black American literature, second-wave feminist fiction, science fiction, and postmodernist fiction. Through close-readings of dozens of literary texts alongside print and television ads from this period, Dini shows how U.S. writers have unearthed the paradoxes inherent to claims of appliances’ capacity to “give back” time to their user, transport them into a technologically-progressive future, or “return” them to some pastoral past. In so doing, she reveals literary appliances’ role in raising questions about gender norms and sexuality, racial exclusion and erasure, class anxieties, the ramifications of mechanization, the perils and possibilities of conformity, the limitations of patriotism, and the inevitable fallacy of utopian thinking-while both shaping and radically disrupting the literary forms in which they operated.
About the author:
Rachele Dini is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at University of Roehampton, UK. She is author of Consumerism, Waste, and Re-use in Twentieth-century Fiction: Legacies of the Avant-Garde (2016) and founder of WasteInLit: The International Literary Waste Studies Network (literarywaste.com). Her research lies at the intersection of 20th-century literary studies, material culture studies, eco-criticism, and American studies.
If you are interested in reviewing this title for ARB, please fill out the form below, and let us know why you might be suited for it. While we welcome new writers, please point us towards any of your reviews or other writing if possible (personal blogs or Goodreads are fine). If there are multiple books or essays you’re interested in (see what we’ve Called for Review and have Available for Review), please list them in the order you’re interested in reviewing them.
Transparency Statement: This review copy was offered to ARB directly by the author of the book. When the review copy was offered, Rachele Dini had previously written for ARB, but had not yet joined the ARB editorial collective.