Rethinking Race and Identity in Contemporary British Fiction (Hardback) book cover

Rethinking Race and Identity in Contemporary British Fiction

By Sara Upstone

© 2017 – Routledge

194 pages

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Hardback: 9780415729192
pub: 2016-10-13
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Description

This book takes a post-racial approach to the representation of race in contemporary British fiction, re-imagining studies of race and British literature away from concerns with specific racial groups towards a more sophisticated analysis of the contribution of a broad, post-racial British writing. Examining the work of writers from a wide range of diverse racial backgrounds, the book illustrates how contemporary British fiction, rather than merely reflecting social norms, is making a radical contribution towards the possible future of a positively multi-ethnic and post-racial Britain. This is developed by a strategic use of the realist form, which becomes a utopian device as it provides readers with a reality beyond current circumstances, yet one which is rooted within an identifiable world.

Speaking to the specific contexts of British cultural politics, and directly connecting with contemporary debates surrounding race and identity in Britain, the author engages with a wide range of both mainstream and neglected authors, including Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Julian Barnes, John Lanchester, Alan Hollinghurst, Martin Amis, Jon McGregor, Andrea Levy, Bernardine Evaristo, Hanif Kureishi, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hari Kunzru, Nadeem Aslam, Meera Syal, Jackie Kay, Maggie Gee, and Neil Gaiman. This cutting-edge volume explores how contemporary fiction is at the centre of re-thinking how we engage with the question of race in twenty-first-century Britain.

Table of Contents

Contents

 

Introduction: Utopian Realism and Writing Beyond Race

Chapter 1: Utopian Histories: Retroactive Possibilities

Chapter 2: Utopian Destinies: Anti-biological Textualities

Chapter 3: Utopian Ecologies: Post-human, Post-racial

Chapter 4: Utopian Bodies: Some Kind of Blackness

Chapter 5: Utopian Difference: Making Love

Chapter 6: Utopian Failures: Pitfalls of the Post

Chapter 7: Utopian Realities: Practical Utopias

Works Cited

About the Author

Sara Upstone is Principal Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Contemporary Literature

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT004120
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh