Craig McDonald

Craig McDonald


I joined the School of English as a PhD student in October 2019, working on 21st century autofiction.

My doctoral research is fully funded by the Douglas Jefferson scholarship. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed my MA at University College London and my BA at King’s College London.

Research interests

  • Contemporary autofiction
  • Contemporary American fiction
  • Experimental fiction
  • Metafiction

My research examines how the novel as a form has responded to a waning sense of community in recent years, particularly since the 2008 financial crash. Focusing on the increasing popularity of autofiction, my work will demonstrate that writing fictionalised accounts of their lives constitutes a way for authors to question a reader’s capacity for empathy and destabilise what Philippe Lejeune called the “autobiographical pact”. By re-evaluating anglophone autofiction’s relationship to its French antecedent, my work will also question the extent to which modern autofiction reflects the changing nature of modern, and especially digital, communities. Authors whose work I analyse include David Foster Wallace, Ben Lerner, Rachel Cusk, Tao Lin and Olivia Laing.


  • MA: Issues in Modern Culture, University College London (Distinction)
  • BA: English Literature and Language, King's College London (First-Class Honours)