Bernardine Evaristo: the forgotten black British novels everyone should read

The Booker-winning novelist is relaunching a series of neglected novels by black British writers. She explains why they deserve a new readership In today’s culture, it’s as though black British literary history began relatively recently, and new books are published without reference to or knowledge of what has gone before. This is not the case with white writers. Publishers, critics and readers will often understand where books sit within their literary contexts and cultural ecosystem. We can trace the literary lineage of Douglas Stuart’s Booker-winning Shuggie Bain back to the works of James Kelman and Irvine Welsh. Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is in conversation with Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones series and all the novels that were published in its wake, just as Ali Smith’s postmodern novels are descendants of Virginia Woolf’s modernist oeuvre. And we know that today’s historical novels have antecedents in their earlier counterparts.Our appreciation of literature is deepened when we understand the foundations from which each new generation creates literature anew, but because so much of the body of black British literature hasn’t been taught in schools or universities, or immortalised on television and film, or even been widely or seriously reviewed in the media and academia, it’s as if each new book is published out of a void. Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2021-01-30 11:00:07 UTC ]
News tagged with: #british literature #earlier counterparts #modernist oeuvre #virginia woolf #ali smith #helen fielding #dolly alderton #irvine welsh #james kelman #douglas stuart #literary lineage #cultural ecosystem #literary contexts #white writers #booker-winning novelist

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