British Fictions after Devolution: William Boyd’s Culinary Arts

  • Dougal McNeill Victoria University of Wellington


Taking William Boyd's post-2000 novels as symptomatic of wider problems in British writing during the period of the break-up of Britain, this essay suggests that what looks, at first, like a simple collapse in Boyd's talent in fact has produced texts illuminating, in their limitations, the difficulties of British affiliation in the era of Britishness's ideological exhaustion. Boyd is, on this reading, an exemplary counter-example to the canon of self-consciously Scottish fiction more commonly studied in the years since 1979.

Author Biography

Dougal McNeill, Victoria University of Wellington
Lecturer in the English Programme, Victoria University of Wellington.