This book focuses on the themes of intimacy and identity in the contemporary novel and, in particular, in the novels of A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson. Not only do the specificity of the contemporary social context and a growing awareness of the relational nature of the concepts of intimacy and identity set these novels apart from earlier writing that take these issues more for granted. Their very concern with the themes of intimacy and identity also sets them apart from much postmodernist, or mannerist, writing that chooses to cold-shoulder these arguments. The study draws on work by contemporary social theorists and philosophers, and aims to examine issues which, although central to the writing of these authors, have been neglected or treated superficially in literary criticism. Finally, it looks into the ways in which the new approaches to the question of intimacy and identity relate and contribute to contemporary debates on the postmodern novel.