Narratives of Community in the Black British Short Story offers the first systematic study of black British short story writing, tracing its development from the 1950s to the present with a particular focus on contemporary short stories by Hanif Kureishi, Jackie Kay, Suhayl Saadi, Zadie Smith, and Hari Kunzru. By combining a postcolonial framework of analysis with Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstructive philosophy of community, the book charts key tendencies in black British short fiction and explores how black British writers use the short story form to combat deeply entrenched notions of community and experiment with non-essentialist alternatives across differences of ethnicity, culture, religion, and nationality.
This book represents a contribution to both border studies and short story studies. In today’s world, there is ample evidence of the return of borders worldwide: as material reality, as a concept, and as a way of thinking. This collection of critical essays focuses on the ways in which the contemporary British short story mirrors, questions and engages with border issues in national and individual life. At the same time, the concept of the border, as well as neighbouring notions of liminality and intersectionality, is used to illuminate the short story’s unique aesthetic potential. The first section, “Geopolitics and Grievable Lives”, includes chapters that address the various ways in which contemporary stories engage with our newly bordered world and borders within contemporary Britain. The second section examines how British short stories engage with “Ethnicity and Liminal Identities”, while the third, “Animal Encounters and Metamorphic Bodies”, focuses on stories concerned with epistemological borders and borderlands of existence and identity. Taken together, the chapters in this volume demonstrate the varied and complex ways in which British short stories in the twenty-first century engage with the concept of the border.
The present volume focuses on the liminal space which postcolonial youngsters inhabit in contemporary Britain as dramatised in fiction, thus envisioning the postcolonial as a site of fruitful and potentially transformative friction between different identitary variables and sociocultural interpellation.
The American short story has always been characterized by exciting aesthetic innovations and an immense range of topics. This handbook offers students and researchers a comprehensive introduction to the multifaceted genre with a special focus on recent developments due to the rise of new media. Part I provides systematic overviews of significant contexts ranging from historical-political backgrounds, short story theories developed by writers, print and digital culture, to current theoretical approaches and canon formation. Part II consists of 35 paired readings of representative short stories by eminent authors, charting major steps in the evolution of the American short story from its beginnings as an art form in the early nineteenth century up to the digital age. The handbook examines historically, methodologically, and theoretically the coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature. It offers fresh and original readings relevant to studying the American short story and shows how the genre performs American culture.
Examining how British writers are addressing the urgent matter of how we form and express group belonging in the 21st century, this book brings together a range of international scholars to explore the ongoing crises, developments and possibilities inherent in the task of representing community in the present. Including an extended critical introduction that positions the individual chapters in relation to broader conceptual questions, chapters combine close reading and engagement with the latest theories and concepts to engage with the complex regionalities of the United Kingdom, with representation of writers from all parts of the UK including Northern Ireland. Including specific focus on the most challenging issues for community in the past five years, notably Brexit and the Covid-19 crisis, with a broader understanding of themes of local and national belonging, this book offers detailed discussions of writers including Ali Smith, Niall Griffiths, John McGregor, Max Porter, Amanda Craig, Bernadine Evaristo, Jonathan Coe, Bernie McGill, Jan Carson, Guy Gunaratne, Anthony Cartright, Barney Farmer, Maggie Gee and Sarah Hall. Demonstrating some of the resources that literature can offer for a renewed understanding of community, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in how British Literature contributes to our understanding of society in both the past and present, and how such understanding can potentially help us to shape the future.
This book offers the first interdisciplinary survey of community research in the humanities and social sciences to consider such diverse disciplines as philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, disabilities studies, linguistics, communication studies, and film studies. Bringing together leading international experts, the collection of essays critically maps and explores the state of the art in community research, while also developing future perspectives for a cross-disciplinary rethinking of community. Pursuing such a critical, transdisciplinary approach to community, the book argues, can counteract reductive appropriations of the term ‘community’ and, instead, pave the way for a novel assessment of the concept’s complexity. Since community is, above all, a lived practice that shapes people’s everyday lives, the essays also suggest ways of redoing community; they discuss concrete examples of community practice, thereby bridging the gap between scholars and activists working in the field.
This monograph analyses Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, On Beauty, NW, The Embassy of Cambodia, and Swing Time as trauma fictions that reveal the social, cultural, historical, and political facets of trauma. Starting with Smith’s humorous critique of psychoanalysis and her definition of original trauma, this volume explores Smith’s challenge of Western theories of trauma and coping and how her narratives expose the insidiousness of (post)colonial suffering and unbelonging. This book then explores transgenerational trauma, the tensions between remembering and forgetting, multidirectional memory, and the possibilities of the ambiguities and contradictions of the postcolonial and diasporic characters Smith depicts. This analysis discloses Smith’s effort to ethically redefine trauma theory from a postcolonial and decolonial standpoint, reiterate the need to acknowledge and work through colonial histories and postcolonial forms of oppression, and critically reflect on our roles as witnesses of suffering in global times.
This book analyses cricket’s place in Anglophone Caribbean literature. It examines works by canonical authors – Brathwaite, Lamming, Lovelace, Naipaul, Phillips and Selvon – and by understudied writers – including Agard, Fergus, John, Keens-Douglas, Khan and Markham. It tackles short stories, novels, poetry, drama and film from the Caribbean and its diaspora. Its literary readings are couched in the history of Caribbean cricket and studies by Hilary Beckles and Gordon Rohlehr. C.L.R James’ foundational Beyond a Boundary provides its theoretical grounding. Literary depictions of iconic West Indies players – including Constantine, Headley, Worrell, Walcott, Sobers, Richards, and Lara – feature throughout. The discussion focuses on masculinity, heroism, father-son dynamics, physical performativity and aesthetic style. Attention is also paid to mother-daughter relations and female engagement with cricket, with examples from Anim-Addo, Breeze, Wynter and others. Cricket holds a prominent place in the history, culture, politics and popular imaginary of the Caribbean. This book demonstrates that it also holds a significant and complicated place in Anglophone Caribbean literature.
“Becoming Home: Diaspora and the Anglophone Transnational” is a collection of essays exploring national identity, migration, exile, colonialism, postcolonialism, slavery, race, and gender in the literature of the Anglophone world. The volume focuses on the dispersion or scattering of people in exile, and how those with an existing homeland and those displaced, without a politically recognized sovereign state, negotiate displacement and the experience of living at home-abroad. This group includes expatriate minority communities existing uneasily and nostalgically on the margins of their host country. The diaspora becomes an important cultural phenomenon in the formation of national identities and opposing attempts to transcend the idea of nationhood itself on its way to developing new forms of transnationalism. Chapters on the literature or national allegories of the diaspora and the transnational explore the diverse and geographically expansive ways in which Anglophone literature by colonized subjects and emigrants negotiates diasporic spaces to create imagined communities or a sense of home. Themes explored within these pages include restlessness, tensions, trauma, ambiguities, assimilation, estrangement, myth, nostalgia, sentimentality, homesickness, national schizophrenia, divided loyalties, intellectual capital, and geographical interstices. Special attention is paid to the complex ways identity is negotiated by immigrants to Anglophone countries writing in English about their home-abroad experience. The lived experiences of emigrants of the diaspora create a literature rife with tensions concerning identity, language, and belongingness in the struggle for home. Focusing on writers in particular geopolitical spaces, the essays in the collection offer an active conversation with leading theorizers of the diaspora and the transnational, including Edward Said, Bill Ashcroft, William Safran, Gabriel Sheffer, Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha, Frantz Fanon, and Benedict Anderson. This volume cuts across the broad geopolitical space of the Anglophone world of literature and cultural studies and will appeal to professors, scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in English, comparative literature, history, ethnic and race studies, diaspora studies, migration, and transnational studies. The volume will also be an indispensable aid to public policy experts.
This anthology is in many was a ‘best of the best’, containing gems from thirty-four of Britain's outstanding contemporary writers. It is a book to dip into, to read from cover to cover, to lend to friends and read again. It includes stories of love and crime, stories touched with comedy and the supernatural, stories set in London, Los Angeles, Bucharest and Tokyo. Above all, as you will discover, it satisfies Samuel Butler's anarchic pleasure principle: 'I should like to like Schumann's music better than I do; I daresay I could make myself like it better if I tried; but I do not like having to try to make myself like things; I like things that make me like them at once and no trying at all ...'
This book examines a critical period in British children’s publishing, from the earliest days of dedicated publishing firms for Black British audiences to the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK. Taking a historical approach that includes education acts, Black protest, community publishing and children’s literature prizes, the study investigates the motivation behind both independent and mainstream publishing firm decisions to produce books for a specifically Black British audience. Beginning with a consideration of early reading schemes that incorporated Black and Asian characters, the book continues with a history of one of the earliest presses to publish for children, Bogle L’Ouverture. Other chapters look at the influence of community-based and independent presses, the era of multiculturalism and anti-racism, the effect of racially-motivated violence on children’s publishing, and the dubious benefit of awards for Black British publishing. The volume will appeal to children’s literature scholars, librarians, teachers, education-policy makers and Black British historians.
'Excellent, entertaining and ingenious ... from Oscar Wilde to Arthur Conan Doyle, this fine anthology celebrates one of the richest moments in Britain's literary history' Sunday Times The quarter century between 1890 and the outbreak of the First World War saw an extraordinary boom in the popularity and quality of short stories in Britain, fuelled by a large, eager new magazine readership. The great writers of the age produced some of their finest work, and literary genres - the ghost story, science fiction - took shape. This richly varied, endlessly entertaining anthology brings together authors from Katherine Mansfield to Rudyard Kipling, James Joyce to Saki, H. G. Wells to Rebecca West. It celebrates a teeming, innovative world of literary achievement. Edited with an introduction by Philip Hensher