Present Tense Narration in Contemporary Fiction

A Narratological Overview

  • Irmtraud Huber

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 1-3
  3. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 23-37
  4. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 39-54
  5. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 55-67
  6. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 69-86
  7. Irmtraud Huber
    Pages 87-100
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 101-123

About this book


In this book, Irmtraud Huber considers a wide range of contemporary novels to explore the variety of possibilities and effects of the use of the present tense, as well as investigating  the reasons for its popularity. By illustrating the complexity and sophistication of four different types of contemporary usage, Huber’s discussion goes some way towards refuting those critical voices which consider present-tense narration a passing fad and stylistic affectation. As a tense of narration, the present can serve to tell different stories than the past tense, or can tell them differently. By no means a passing fad, it is an important characteristic of contemporary literature.

Irmtraud Huber is a lecturer in English literature at the Universität Bern, Switzerland. Her PhD on the role of fantastical elements in recent literary attempts to go beyond postmodernism received the Helene-Richter Prize from the Deutscher Anglistenverband. Her monograph Literature after Postmodernism: Reconstructive Fantasies was published by Palgrave in 2014.


contemporary fiction twenty-first century literature narrative fiction first person narrative present tense narrative narrative deictic retrospective and simultaneous narration interior monologue historical present tense

Authors and affiliations

  • Irmtraud Huber
    • 1
  1. 1.English DepartmentUniversität Bern BerneSwitzerland

Bibliographic information