Since 1970, terrorism has become a prominent subject for English-language novels. In an attempt to characterize the modern terrorism novel and the cultural work it has performed, the authors have devised a typology of terrorism-infiction from 1970 through 2001. Over a thousand novels were documented, including both thrillers and mainstream works. A sample of twenty-five novels from the period was then selected for careful reading, analysis, and comparison. Preliminary results establish that though there is a great deal of diversity in terrorism novels, both in what they do with terrorism and why, they are by and large focused less on politics than on sentiment and less on the perpetrators of terrorism than on its victims. But novels introduce an innovation in what has been called the “mythography of terrorism” by introducing new types of “controlling consciousnesses” through which terrorist violence is perceived.

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