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Waterland Criticism

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Waterland was shortlisted for Britain 's most prestigious literary award,the Booker Prize.It received generous praise from critics. Peter S. Prescott, in Newsweek, is one of a number of reviewers who compare Swift to William Faulkner. Prescott praises the intricate design of the narrative, pointing out that it moves "as water in the fens does: a current flowing one way encounters eddies circling in others."

Alan Hollinghurst in the Times Literary Supplement notes the way Swift combines various literary traditions: the "family saga, the business saga, the novel of provincial life," including also "social history and adolescent love." Hollinghurst praises the novel's "vigorous and complex metaphorical life," by which he meant Swift's use of the constant process of land reclamation in the fens as a parallel to the attempts of humans to make sense of their past. Hollinghurst finds the novel's vision "appallingly bleak," noting it emphasizes...

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This section contains 248 words
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Waterland from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.