The introduction lays out the necessary background to the zombie in contemporary fiction. It starts by offering a general idea of the zombie’s contemporary valence and then offers a brief history of the zombie in literature, from its various potential forebears to the 21st century. It argues for the importance of the Romero zombie as the most useful, and open, figuration of the zombie, and then lays out the way in which the book will read the zombie, read against alternative versions of zombie theory that are widely debated. It argues against symbolic readings of the zombie as such, and suggests that we must instead read it as a form, one which enables literature to engage possible futures, but does not in and of itself signify anything in particular.
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