I work on contemporary fiction, with a strong emphasis on British and Canadian women’s writing. Since completing my PhD (Durham, 2004) on Margaret Atwood and Second Wave Feminism, I’ve maintained a strong research interest in Atwood’s work and recently edited a special issue on Atwood for the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (2017) and am currently writing The Fiction of Margaret Atwood (Palgrave, 2018). My current large research project is a literary cultural analysis of representations of cleaning and housework in post-war women’s writing. I use cleaning as a locus for examining intersecting politics of race, gender and class within the public and private spheres.
All of this work feeds into my teaching here at LJMU, where I convene the final year module, Post-millennial British Fiction, and teach on Transitions: Writing Between the Wars. I lead the research methods module for MRes students, and I currently supervise PhDs on autoeroticism in contemporary women’s writing and punk women’s experimental writing of the 1990s. I’m happy to supervise work across the field of contemporary writing.
The Fiction of Margaret Atwood. Palgrave. Forthcoming 2018.
Literature, Migration, and the ‘War on Terror’. Ed. Fiona Tolan, Stephen Morton, Anastasia Valassopoulos and Robert Spencer. London: Routledge, 2012.
Teaching Gender. Ed. Alice Ferrebe and Fiona Tolan. London: Palgrave, 2012.
New Directions: Writing Post-1990. London: Pearson, 2010.
Writers Talk: Conversations with Contemporary British Novelists. Ed. Philip Tew, Fiona Tolan, Leigh Wilson. London: Continuum, 2008.
Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007
“Ageing and Subjectivity in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction”, Contemporary Women’s Writing (forthcoming 2017).
“I could say that, too’: An Interview with Margaret Atwood”, Contemporary Women’s Writing (forthcoming 2017).
“Zadie Smith’s Forsterian Ethics: White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty”. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 54.2 (2013): 135-46.
“‘Cleaning Gives Me Pleasure’: Housework and Feminism in Carol Shields’s Unless”, Australasian Canadian Studies Journal. 28.1 (2010): 1-15.
“‘Painting Whilst Rome Burns’: Ethics and Aesthetics in Pat Barker’s Life Class and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty”, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 29.2 (Fall 2010): 375-94.
“To Leave and To Return: Frustrated Departures and Female Quest in Alice Munro’s Runaway”, Contemporary Women’s Writing. 4.3 (November 2010): 161-178.
“The Psychoanalytic Theme in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: A Response to Burkhard Niederhoff”, Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate. 19.1-3 (2009/10): 92-106.
“‘Everyone has Left Something Here’: The Storyteller-Historian in Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum”, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 50.3 (Spring 2009): 275-290.
“Sucking the Blood out of Second Wave Feminism: Postfeminist Vampirism in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride”, Gothic Studies, 9.2 (November 2007): 45-57.
“Situating Canada: The Shifting Perspective of the Post-Colonial Other in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride”, American Review of Canadian Studies, 35.3 (Autumn 2005): 453-470.
“Feminist Utopias and Questions of Liberty: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as Critique of New Wave Feminism”, Women: a cultural review, 16.1 (Spring 2005): 18-32.
“Guilt and Innocence in the Community and the Self: The Question of Mutual Responsibility in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing”, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 17.1 (2004): 105-116.
Chapters in Books
“‘I am the narrator of this work’: Narrative Authority in Andrea Levy’s The Long Song“, Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critcial Perspectives. Ed. Jeanette Baxter and David James. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
“‘Was I My Sister’s Keeper?’ The Blind Assassin and Problematic Feminisms”, Margaret Atwood: The Robber Bride; The Blind Assassin; Oryx and Crake. Ed. J. Brooks Bouson. London: Continuum, 2010: 73-87.
“Situating Canada: The Shifting Perspective of the Postcolonial Other in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride”, Margaret Atwood: Bloom’s Modern Critical Views. New ed. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Infobase, 2009. 143-58.
“‘He could see her no longer’: The Negation of Femininity through Violence in Ian McEwan’s Fiction”, Gender and Interpersonal Violence: Language, Action and Representation, ed. Flora Alexander and Karen Throsby. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008: 186-99.
“Identifying the Precious in Zadie Smith’s On Beauty”, British Fiction Today. Ed. Rod Mengham and Philip Tew. London: Continuum, 2006: 128-38.
“Anglophone Canadian Literary Studies”, Modern North American Criticism and Theory: A Critical Guide. Ed. Julian Wolfreys. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006: 214-23.
“Feminisms”, Modern Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide. Ed. Patricia Waugh. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005: 319-39.