Just when the political stakes of truth and falsity in the United States seem to be higher than ever, many American writers are exploring a conceptual space located “on the very edge of fiction,” as one author puts it. Are such strategies still readable in ideological terms, or are they better understood as a loss of the critical standpoint from which ideological reading might take place? This article outlines the need for a critical practice capable of meeting the formal and ideological challenges of contemporary American fiction and takes the first steps toward imagining such a practice.

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