In the first book to consider British suburban literature from the vantage point ofimperial and postcolonial studies, Todd Kuchta argues that suburban identity is tied to theempire's rise and fall. He takes his title from the type of home synonymous with suburbia. Like the semi-detached house, which joins separate dwellings under one roof, suburbia and empirewere geographically distinct but imaginatively linked. Yet just as the ",semi", conceals two homesbehind a single faade, suburbia's apparent uniformity masks its definingoppositions-between country and city, ",civilization", and ",savagery,", master andslave.While some people saw the suburbs as homegrown colonies, othersviewed them as a terra incognita beyond the pale of British culture. Surveying a range of popularand canonical texts, Kuchta reveals the suburban foundations of a variety of unexpected fictionallocales: the Thames Valley of H. G. Wells's Martian attack and the gaslit London of ArthurConan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, but also the tropical backwaters of Joseph Conrad's MalayArchipelago and the imperial communities of Raj fiction by E. M. Forster and George Orwell. Thiscapacious view demonstrates suburbia's vital role in science fiction, detective tales,condition-of-England novels, modernist narratives of imperial decline, and contemporarymulticultural fiction.Drawing on postcolonial theory, urban studies, andarchitectural scholarship, this book will appeal to readers interested in Victorian, modern, andcontemporary British literature and cultures, especially those concerned with how place shapes classand masculine identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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