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The Cambridge Companion toUtopian LiteratureSince the publication of Thomas More’s genre-defining work Utopia in 1516,the fi eld of utopian literature has evolved into an ever-expanding domain.This Companion presents an extensive historical survey of the developmentof utopianism, from the publication of Utopia to today’s dark and despairingtendency towards dystopian pessimism, epitomized by works such as GeorgeOrwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.Chapters address the difficult definition of the concept of utopia, and considerits relation to science fi ction and other literary genres. The volume takes aninnovative approach to the major themes predominating within the utopianand dystopian literary tradition, including feminism, romance and ecology,and explores in detail the vexed question of the purportedly ‘western’ natureof the concept of utopia. The reader is provided with a balanced overview ofthe evolution and current state of a long-standing, rich...