'Could not want a lover … more than freedom': Failing in Sarah Waters’s Affinity and Fingersmith

Joshua G Adair


Using J. Jack Halberstam's theories of queer failure, this essay examines Sarah Waters's neo-Victorian novels Affinity and Fingersmith. The author argues that we must read Waters’s novels as narratives of queer failure, rich with negative potential for scuttling normativity and dismantling schemas of queer progress, while resisting the temptation to insert narratives of progress or positivity.

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