Graham Swift: Shuttlecock

(3800 words)

Graham Swift's second novel, Shuttlecock (1981), which won the biannual Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award for fiction in 1983, is a psychological thriller which constructs a nightmarish version of late-twentieth-century urban life through the eyes of Prentis, a weak and self-conscious narrator. The plot, which centres on a dark secret with the potential to turn the protagonist's war hero father from a celebrated spy (code name ‘Shuttlecock') into a traitor, allows Swift to examine, through a parent-child conflict, how the myth of heroism survives the brutality inherent in human nature.

The text of the novel is the diary of Prentis, a police investigator of “dead crimes” known only by his last name. Embedded in …

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Citation:
Logotheti, Anastasia. "Shuttlecock". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11971, accessed 31 October 2014.]