Revision with unchanged content. This study illustrates the generic development of the family novel in the second half of the twentieth century. It is a microscopic approach to novels featuring the American family and its (post-)postmodern variations. Dell's work examines how the family, its forms and its conflicts are functionalized for an author's cultural critique. From post-war to post-millennium, family novelists have sketched the American family in various precarious conditions, and their texts are critical assessments of contemporary socioeconomic and cultural conditions. Dell's close reading of John Cheever's The Wapshot Chronicle, Don DeLillo's White Noise and Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections shows that authors react to social and cultural change with new functionalizations of the family in fiction. Unlike the general assumption of literary criticism, family novels do not approach new cultural developments in a conventional or even traditionalist manner. The significant changes and developments of the family novel in the past five decades demonstrate the need for the thorough reassessment of the genre Dell offered in this book.