In February, Clemson University Press will publish Dr. Lauryl Tucker's book, Unexpected Pleasures: Parody, Queerness, and Genre in 20th-Century British Fiction. The book dives into Dr. Tucker's interests in humor, especially the humor that queers conventions both social and literary. You can find the book here, and Dr. Tucker will discuss it at a Dean's Faculty Research Presentation on January 27, from 12:30-1:30 at McGriff Alumni Hall.
We asked Dr. Tucker to describe her book: "Unexpected Pleasures traces a new lineage of modern and contemporary British writers who cast an ironic eye on their genres and make queer use of literary convention. Teasing out the parodic sensibility of writers like Woolf, Bowen, Selvon, Sayers, Stella Gibbons, and Zadie Smith, I take a fresh look at the throwback, the hidebound, the predictable, and the “funny” works that excessively obey the rules of genre and oversupply the pleasurable illusion of power that genre confers. I argue that these excesses weaken the reader’s predictive power over the text, and that this shaken expectation exposes and queers a broader set of assumptions about desire, resolution, and futurity that structure social and generic norms. The parodies I examine are queer not only in their liberatory challenge to gendered and sexual norms, but also in the way that their critique resists becoming merely anti-conventional: Rather than eliding the conventions of gender and genre and mocking glibly at both, these works dwell on how conventionality itself accrues meaning, what kinds of expectations we attach to it, and what we might hope for instead."