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Module Reading List

Quiet Rebels and Unquiet Minds: writing to contemporary anxiety, 2019/20, Semester 1
Dr Helen Iball
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue


A line made by walking ISBN: 9781785150418; 1785150413 (Heinemann, 2017) by Sara Baume  

Every Brilliant Thing and People, Places and Things in Duncan Macmillan Plays one  (Oberon, 2016)  

Let the great world spin ISBN: 9780747597223 (hbk.); 0747597227 (hbk.); 9781408800492 (pbk.); 1408800497 (pbk.); 9781408808689; 1408808684 (Bloomsbury, 2010) by Colum McCann  

My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Penguin, 2018) by Ottessa Moshfegh   

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street(Project Gutenberg e-book, 2004 [1853]) by Herman Melville 

Two of the set play scripts, listed below, are available to you free of charge, through the University’s subscription to Drama Online

Rafts and Dreams (1990) by Robert Holman  

Making noise quietly : three short plays (1986) by Robert Holman  

PREPARATORY READING (not for purchase) 

How emotions are made : the secret life of the brain ISBN: 9781509837526 (pbk.) : £9.99(Macmillan 2017) by Lisa Feldman Barrett    

Compassion : the culture and politics of an emotion ISBN: 0415970520 (pbk) : £16.99; 0415970512 (Routledge, 2004) edited by Lauren Berlant

Thinking through theatre and performance ISBN: 9781472579614 hardcover; 1472579615 hardcover; 9781472579607 paperback; 1472579607 paperback (Methuen, 2019) edited by Maaike Bleeker, Adrian Kear, Joe Kelleher, and Heike Roms   

Bleeker, Maaike, Visuality in Theatre: The Locus of Looking (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Candin, Fiona, and Raiford Guins, eds., The Object Reader (London: Routledge, 2009)

Nervous states : how feeling took over the world ISBN: 9781787330115 (trade paperback); 1787330117 (trade paperback); 9781787330108 (hardback); 1787330109 (hardback); 9781473549227 (ePub ebook) (Jonathan Cape, 2018) by William Davies     

Colum McCann : The Aesthetics of Redemption (Irish Academic Press, 2011) by Eoin Flannery

The problem of anxiety ISBN: 9781614273905 (Martino Fine Books, 2013 [1936]) by Sigmund Freud

The storytelling animal : how stories make us human ISBN: 9780544002340 (paperback); 0544002342 (paperback); 9780547391403; 0547391404 (Mariner, 2013) by Jonathan Gottschall

Queer exceptions : solo performance in neoliberal times ISBN: 9781526113719 (e-book) (Manchester University Press, 2018) by Stephen Greer   

Bartleby in Manhattan and other essays ISBN: 0297783572 (Random House, 1983) by Elizabeth Hardwick

The recovering : intoxication and its aftermath ISBN: 9781783781539 (pbk.) : £9.99 (Granta, 2018) by Leslie Jamison   

The concept of anxiety : a simple psychologically orienting deliberation on the dogmatic issue of hereditary sin ISBN: 0691072442; 9780691072449; 0691020116; 9780691020112 (Liveright 2014 [1844]) by Soren Kierkegaard

The compassionate instinct : the science of human goodness ISBN: 9780393337280 (pbk.) : £12.99; 0393337286 (pbk.) : £12.99 (W.W.Norton, 2010) edited by Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh and Jeremy Adam Smith

Empathy : why it matters, and how to get it ISBN: 9781846043857 (pbk.) : £8.99 (Rider, 2015) by Roman Krznaric

Anxious ISBN: 9781780747682 (e-book): using the brain to understand and treat fear and anxiety (Penguin, 2015) by Joseph LeDoux    

In the realm of hungry ghosts : close encounters with addiction ISBN: 9781785042201 paperback £9.99 (Vermilion, 2018) by Gabor Mate    

How to do Nothing: resisting the attention economy (Melville House, 2019) by Jenny Odell 

'How to do nothing' (essay/talk) by Jenny Odell

Affective relations : the transnational politics of empathy ISBN: 9781137275257 (hardback) (Macmillan, 2014) by Carolyn Pedwell

Posthumanism and Higher Education: reimagining pedagogy, practice and research (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) edited by Carol A. Taylor and Annouchka Bayley   

On kindness (Penguin, 2009) by Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor

My age of anxiety : fear, hope, dread and the search for peace of mind ISBN: 9780099592068 paperback £8.99 (Windmill Books, 2014) by Scott Stossel

Exposure ISBN: 9781999922337 (pbk.) : £6.00 (Peninsula, 2018) by Olivia Sudjic

Bartleby & Co. ISBN: 009945372X (pbk.); 9780099453727 (pbk.) (Vintage, 2005) by Enrique Vila-Matas

Recommendations for Further Reading

Contexts and Concepts

Lauren Berlant, ed., Compassion : the culture and politics of an emotion (Routledge, 2004)

Carl Cederström and André Spicer, The wellness syndrome (Polity Press, 2015)

David Comer Kid and Emanuele Castano, ‘Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind,’ Science. , 342: 6156 (2013), pp. 377-380

Amy Coplan and Peter Goldie, eds., Empathy : philosophical and psychological perspectives s (Oxford UP, 2011)

Lindsay B. Cummings, Empathy as dialogue in theatre and performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Vincent Deary, How We Are ISBN: 9780374535964 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)   

Alain Ehrenberg, The weariness of the self : diagnosing the history of depression in the contemporary age (McGill-Queens UP, 2009)

Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn, ‘Positive Affect as Coercive Strategy: conditionality, activation and the role of psychology in UK government workfare programmes,’ Medical Humanities , 41 (2015), pp. 40-47

Jonathan Gottschall, The storytelling animal : how stories make us human (Mariner, 2013)

Anna Harpin and Juliet Foster, eds., Performance, madness and psychiatry : isolated acts (Palgrave Connect, 2014)

Meghan Marie Hammond and Sue J. Kim, eds., Rethinking empathy through literature (Routledge, 2014)

Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh and Jeremy Adam Smith, eds., The compassionate instinct : the science of human goodness(W.W.Norton, 2010)

Leslie Jamison, ‘What should an essay do? Two new collections reinvent the form,’ New republic. , 8 July 2013

Ann Jurecic, ‘The Illness Essay,’ Life writing. , 13:1 (2016), pp. 13-26

Roman Krznaric, Empathy : why it matters, and how to get it (Rider, 2015)

Anna Lindhe, ‘The Paradox of Narrative Empathy and the Form of the Novel, or What George Eliot Knew,’ Studies in the novel. , 48:1 (Spring 2016), pp.19-42

Chris Maisano, ‘Chicken Soup for the Neoliberal Soul,’ Jacobin , 21 January 2014,

Bruce Maxwell, ‘Naturalized compassion: a critique of Nussbaum on literature as education for compassionate citizenry,’ Journal of Moral Education. , 35:3 (September 2006), pp. 335–352

Nel Noddings, ‘Thinking, feeling and moral imagination,’ Midwest studies in philosophy. , 22 (1998), pp. 134–145

Michelle Orange, This is running for your life : essays (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013)

Laurie Penny, ‘Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless: On negotiating the false idols of neo-liberal self-care,’ The Baffler , 08/07/2016,

Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor, On kindness (Penguin, 2009)

Dani Snyder-Young, Theatre of good intentions : challenges and hopes for theatre and social change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1978)

Kio Stark, When strangers meet : how people you don't know can transform you (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Rachel Sykes, The quiet contemporary American novel ISBN: 9781526108883 ISBN: 9781526108883 (e-book) (Manchester University Press, 2017) 

Kevin Quashie, The sovereignty of quiet : beyond resistance in black culture ISBN: 9780813553108 (pbk) (Rutgers UP, 2012) 

Contemporary British Theatre

Siân Adiseshiah and Louise LePage , Twenty-first century drama : what happens now (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Vicky Angelaki, ed., Contemporary British theatre : breaking new ground (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). See particularly: Intro, Chs 1, 2, 3

Mireia Aragay and Enric Montforte, eds., Ethical speculations in contemporary British theatre (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). See particularly: Chs 1, 5, 7, 8

Joe Kelleher, The illuminated theatre : studies on the suffering of images (Routledge, 2015)

Duška Radosavljević, Theatre-making : interplay between text and performance in the 21st century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Robert Holman

Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse’ – this promotional video comprises of interviews with younger generation of UK playwrights on the significance of Holman’s work: v=of9tXx4I4Lo

Lee Anderson, ‘Discovering Robert Holman,’ Exuent , 18 November 2014

Michael Billington, ‘ Making Noise Quietly review,’ Guardian. , 24 April 2012

Lyn Gardner, ‘Are my plays any good? I haven’t a clue,’ Guardian G2, 30 September 2003, p. 14-15

Lyn Gardner, ‘ Across Oka/Rafts and Dreams review,’ Guardian , 8 October 2003

Charles Spencer, ‘ Making Noise Quietly , Donmar Warehouse, review,’ 24 April 2012

Simon Stephens, ‘My favourite living writer? Robert Holman, dramatist of secrets and shyness,’ Guardian , 10 March 2015

Lyn Walker, Across Oka/Rafts and Dreams review,’ Independent , 12 October 2003

Headlong Theatre Company

Rachael Steven, ‘Headlong,’ Creative review. , 35: 7 (2015), p. 62

Stewart Pringle, ‘Can big theatre successfully embrace big science? ’ New scientist. , 9 September 2015

Duncan Macmillan, People, places and things

A resource on the play, its contexts, research, rehearsal from Headlong:

Michael Billington, ‘ People, Places and Things review – a vivid tale of acting and addiction,’ Guardian , 2 September 2015

Susannah Clapp, ‘ People, Places and Things review – a career-changing performance,’ Observer , 6 September 2015

Lyn Gardner, ‘ People, Places and Things is a triumph for Denise Gough – and for equality,’ Guardian , 8 April 2016

Paul Taylor, ‘ People, Places and Things review,’ Independent , 2 September 2015


Colum McCann, Let the great world spin ISBN: 9780747597223 (hbk.); 0747597227 (hbk.); 9781408800492 (pbk.); 1408800497 (pbk.); 9781408808689; 1408808684

Eoin Flannery, Colum McCann and the aesthetics of redemption (Irish Academic Press, 2011)

Eoin Flannery, ‘Internationalizing 9/11: hope and redemption in Nadeem Aslam's The Wasted Vigil (2008) and Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (2009),’ English , 62:238 (2013), pp. 294-315 - Available online:

Sheila Hones, Literary geographies : narrative space in Let the great world spin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Joseph Lennon, ‘“A country of the elsewhere”: an interview with Colum McCann,’ New Hibernia Review , 16:2 (2012), pp. 98-111

Jennifer Levasseur, ‘Interview with Colum McCann,’ Glimmer Train , 69 (2009), pp. 56-73

Joel Lovell, ‘The world still spinning,’ New York Times ISSN: 0362-4331 Magazine , 2 June 2013, pp. 36-9 - Available online:

Regina Schober, ‘“It’s about being connected”: reframing the network in Colum McCann’s post 9/11 novel Let the Great World Spin ,’ Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik.  , 60:4 (2012), pp. 391-402

Sandra Singer, ‘The image of the falling man revisited,’ in Lesie Boldt, Corrado Federici and Ernesto Virgulti, eds., Silence and the Silenced : Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Lang 2013), pp. 127-42


Ottessa Moshfegh

Katie Dobbs, 'Radical passivity: Patty Hearst to Ottessa Moshfegh' [online].Overland, No. 225, Summer 2016: 63-69.

Alex Clark, 'Born Again: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh, reviewed', Spectator, 28 July 2018

Lena Dunham interview with Ottessa Moshfegh, Strand bookstore, New York, 1 August 2018

Ariel Levy, 'Ottessa Moshfegh's Otherworldly Fiction'. The New Yorker, 2 July 2018

Literary Friction: 'Rest and Relaxation with Ottessa Moshfegh', 3 September 2018

Josie Mitchell, 'Rest for the Wicked: why new talent Ottessa Moshfegh refuses to simplify desire'. Prospect, 21 August 2018

Ottessa Moshfegh reads and discusses My Year of Rest and Relaxation at Politics & Prose, 25 May 2018

Ismail Muhammad, 'Sleepwalking: Ottessa Moshfegh's contemporary gothic', The Nation, 25 October 2018

Mary Wang, 'Miscellaneous Files: Ottessa Moshfegh'. Guernica, 6 November 2018

David Winters, 'Theory and the Creative Writing Classroom: Conceptual Revision in the School of Gordon Lish.' Contemporary Literature, vol. 57 no. 1, 2016, pp. 111-134. Project MUSE,



This list was last updated on 30/10/2019