Preface to the Online Edition
The following text represents the thesis as it was submitted to the University of Mississippi in 1997, except that minor corrections for grammar, spelling, and style consistency have been made, and shorter block quotes have been run in. Doubtless, since the thesis was written, much critical material on Jayne Anne Phillips has emerged that is not incorporated here, nor is any discussion of her most recent novels. Were I to take up a full revision, I would doubtless add chapters on Phillips’s novels Machine Dreams (1984), Shelter (1994), Motherkind (2000), and Lark and Termite (2009), and I would take into consideration The Secret Country: Decoding Jayne Anne Phillips’s Cryptic Fiction by Sarah Robertson (New York: Rodopi, 2007), the one book-length critical study on Phillips that I am aware of. However, the text presented here is largely made available for researchers curious to know more about Phillips’s shorter works especially from the point of view of the mid-1990s, before much of the now available criticism had emerged.
A thesis by Jon Morgan Davies