The State of the Novel offers a lively yet rigorous investigation into the present state of the contemporary novel-in Britain and beyond-and some speculation about its future. Against the backdrop of globalization, Dominic Head establishes the interests shared by contemporary theorists, cultural commentators, and consumers of novels. Key topics are re-evaluated, including: literary prize culture; the idea of a literary renaissance in the 1980s; provincial fiction; the "post-9/11 novel"; and the presumed superiority of the novel in the US. False, but influential myths about the contemporary novel are challenged. This timely book contributes substantially to a revitalized form of novel criticism, emerging from the shadow of academic professionalism as a relevant and necessary medium.