Scandalous Truths: New Book about Susan Howatch
Susan Howatch’s global bestsellers have appeared regularly since the 1970s, but a radical shift in her subject matter in the ’80s made reviewers and then academics adjust their glasses and stare hard at her pages. Howatch carried her loyal following of gothic and family saga readers into unexpected psychological and theological depths, while raising to a new level her experiments with narrative technique. She also introduced to her readers a character only half alive in Trollope, the Anglican Church. The twentieth-century church revealed in Howatch’s later fiction is a huge, sometimes monstrous, sometimes life-giving creature whose various dimensions make it entirely engaging and weirdly central to the centerless postmodern world.
Scandalous Truths provides a way into Howatch’s world by presenting for the first time some of her own articulations of her guiding principles, and by allowing a group of scholars to engage in a wide-ranging discussion of her art. A decade of scholarly presentations and articles now culminates in this book.