This book critically examines a wide range of contemporary literary scandals in order to identify the cultural and literary anxieties revealed by controversial works. It explores how scandal predominantly emerges in relation to texts which offer challenging representations concerning children, women, sexuality, religion and authenticity, and how literary controversies bring to the surface a series of concerns about the complex construction of identity, history and reality. Including works such as J.K. Rowling’s
Harry Potter series (1996–2007), Bret Easton Ellis’
American Psycho (1991), James Frey’s
A Million Little Pieces (2003), Misha Defonseca’s
Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust (1997), Salman Rushdie’s
The Satanic Verses (1988) and Philip Pullman’s
His Dark Materials trilogy (1995–2000), the author analyses a broad spectrum of texts in order to examine why books continue to provoke public debate and outrage, and what the arguments surrounding scandalous works suggest about literature and the world.