A study of contemporary fiction can go in any direction, and my attempts to avoid univocalism are vivid reminders of many other possible directions. Because distinctions are difficult and necessarily quirky in studying the present, a rationale of sorts is in order. I chose a handful of writers among a plethora of peers, in order to show by individual studies how full and interesting the current fictional situation is. Most of the writers fall within the Anglo-American range, because my audience is presumably Anglophonic rather than totally international. Another factor is linguistic, in that I feel it incorrect to write about texts not readable in the original language – and am thus barred from eastern European and oriental writers. The fictionists finally chosen are all deeply interesting to me, and although I originally considered a few rather negative studies of writers like John Barth, Peter Handke, and John Hawkes, I rejected this as a mean-spirited exercise not in keeping with the aim of this book, which is to persuade readers of the fortunate choices that lie before us as textual receptors.