The gothic coast: boundaries, belonging, and coastal community in contemporary British fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


This essay argues that recent British gothic fiction is characterised by the detailed attention it pays to coastal landscapes, giving particular focus to Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney, Wyl Menmuir’s The Many, and Daisy Johnson’s Fen. I read these novels as participants in a broader debate around the symbolic power of the British coastline, and situate them in relation to current work in the field of coastal studies, and in connection with contemporary
political discourses that see the coast – the spaces that illuminates Britain’s relation to the wider world – as a potent site to explore anxieties of belonging, nationhood, and national identity. This is a fiction responding directly to rising nationalism in the twenty-first century and to anxieties around the significance – and fragility – of borders.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
JournalCritique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2018


  • the gotic, coastal studies, nationhood and identity, ecotone, ecologies