Graham Swift: Waterland

(5747 words)

Blending history and story, Waterland (1983), Graham Swift's third novel, is an engrossing tale of murder, incest and suicide. The most significant events in Waterland occur in the desolate and empty Cambridgeshire Fens of East Anglia where the protagonist, Tom Crick, and his wife, Mary Metcalf, are born and raised. As the novel's second epigraph (“Ours was the marsh country …” from Dickens's Great Expectations) specifies, the marsh country of the Fens becomes the symbolic waterland where Tom and Mary, like Dickens's Pip, come of age. Dickens's bildungsroman is not the only significant intertext in Swift's multi-layered novel. In the manner of Hardy and Faulkner, Swift invents not only the characters …

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Logotheti, Anastasia. "Waterland". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2004
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

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