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.