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ENGL3680
Reading List: Postcolonial London

Postcolonial London, 2021/22, Semester 1
Professor John McLeod
j.m.mcleod@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

1. Primary Reading List

Set texts, in order of study (any edition is acceptable)

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (Penguin Classics, 2006 [1956])  

Buchi Emecheta, Second-Class Citizen (Heinemann, 1974)  

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Selected Poetry (Penguin, 2006)  

Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (Faber & Faber, 2017 [1990])  

Gurinder Chadha (dir.), Bend It Like Beckham (Lionsgate DVD, 2002)   Available on Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Stephen Frears (dir.), Dirty Pretty Things (Miramax DVD, 2002)   Available on Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Zadie Smith, NW (Penguin, 2012)  

Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City (Tinder, 2018)  

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2. Secondary Reading Lists

2.1. Studies which engage with postcolonial London literature & culture

[NB - Extracts from some of these texts can be found in the 'Additional Secondary Resources' section of the module's Minerva resource.]

Nick Bentley, Radical fictions : the English novel in the 1950s (Peter Lang, 2007).

John Clement Ball, Imagining London : postcolonial fiction and the transnational metropolis (University of Toronto Press, 2004).     

J. Dillon Brown, Migrant modernism : postwar London and the West Indian novel (University of Virginia Press, 2013).

Ashley Dawson, Mongrel nation : diasporic culture and the making of postcolonial Britain (University of Michigan Press, 2007) -- an Open Access e-book of the whole text is available from the University of Michigan website!  Click here: https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/id/ed5ba597-2e70-41a3-aec1-c8f5a9635a63/648347.pdf

Mark Ellis, Writing home : black writing in Britain since the War (Ibidem, 2007).

Mark Fisher and Ursula Owen (eds.), Whose cities? (Penguin, 1991)—esp. essays by David Dabydeen and Mike Phillips.

Paul Gilroy, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack (Routledge, 1987).

_______, Small acts : thoughts on the politics of black cultures (Serpent’s Tail, 1993), pp. 74-85 available as an online course reading in the VLE

_______, ‘A London sumting dis...’, Critical quarterly, 41 (3), 1999, pp. 57-69.

Dave Gunning, Race and antiracism in black British and British Asian literature (Liverpool University Press, 2010).

John McLeod (ed.), ‘Postcolonial London’, special edition of Kunapipi, XXI (2), 1999.

John McLeod, Postcolonial London : rewriting the metropolis (Routledge, 2004).

Lawrence Phillips, London narratives : post-war fiction and the city (Continuum, 2006).

Michael Perfect, Contemporary fictions of multiculturalism : diversity and the millennial London novel (Palgrave, 2014)      

James Procter, Dwelling places : postwar black British writing (Manchester University Press, 2003).

Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips, Windrush : the irresistible rise of multi-racial Britain (London: HarperCollins, 1998).

Ron Ramdin, Reimaging Britain : five hundred years of Black and Asian history ISBN: 0745315992 (pbk); 074531600X (London: Pluto, 1999).

Sukhdev Sandhu, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City (HarperCollins, 2003).

Anna Marie Smith, New Right discourse on race and sexuality : Britain, 1968-1990 ( Cambridge, 1994).

Rashmi Varma, The postcolonial city and its subjects : London, Nairobi, Bombay (Routledge, 2012)

Jerry White, London in the twentieth century : a city and its people (Penguin, 2001).

Clair Wills, Lovers and strangers : an immigrant history of post-war Britain ISBN: 9781846147166 (Allen Lane / Penguin, 2017)

2.2. Useful critical/conceptual/contextual scholarship

James Donald, Imagining the Modern City (London: The Athlone Press, 1999).

Carole Boyce Davies, Black women, writing and identity : migrations of the subject (Routledge,1994).

Lars Ekstein et al. (eds.), Multi-ethnic Britain 2000+ : new perspectives in literature, film and the arts (Rodopi, 2008).

Paul Gilroy, After empire : melancholia or convivial culture? (Routledge, 2004).

Stuart Hall, ‘New Ethnicities’ in Stuart Hall : Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley (Routledge, 1996). Available as an online course reading in the VLE

Russell King, John Connell and Paul White (eds.), Writing across worlds : literature and migration (Routledge, 1995).

John McLeod, Beginning postcolonialism (MUP, 2000); see chapter 7, ‘Diaspora Identities’. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship, and the Politics of Race (Oxford University Press, 2015).

James Procter, Writing black Britain, 1948-1998 : an interdisciplinary anthology (MUP, 2000). [lots of excellent materials in this book; copy in School of English library]

Mark Stein, Black British literature : novels of transformation (University of Ohio Press, 2004).

John J. Su, Imagination and the contemporary novel (Cambridge University Press, 2011) -- esp chapter 4: 'Hybridity, Enterprise Culture, and the Fiction of Multicultural Britain'.

Hana Wirth-Nesher, City codes : reading the modern urban novel ( Cambridge, 1996)—See ‘Introduction: Reading Cities’. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

2.3. Selected reading for primary texts 

2.3.1. Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners

Nick Bentley, Radical fictions : the English novel in the 1950s (Peter Lang, 2007) – see chapter 8. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Kathie Birat, 'Making Sense of Memory in the Writings of the Caribbean Diaspora: Sam Selvon's London Calypso', Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 55:6, 2019, pp. 824-835.

J. Dillon Brown, Migrant modernism : postwar London and the West Indian novel (University of Virginia Press, 2013).

Ashley Dawson, Mongrel nation : diasporic culture and the making of postcolonial Britain (University of Michigan Press, 2007). an Open Access e-book of the whole text is available from the University of Michigan website!  Click here: https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/id/ed5ba597-2e70-41a3-aec1-c8f5a9635a63/648347.pdf

Mark Ellis, Writing home : black writing in Britain since the War (Ibidem, 2007)

Patrick Herald, '"The Black", Space and Sexuality: examining resistance in Sam Selvon's The Lonely Londoners, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 52:2, 2017, pp. 350-364.

Mark Looker, Atlantic passages : history, community, and language in the fiction of Sam Selvon (Peter Lang, 1996) - esp. chapter 3, ‘Inventing Black London’. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

John McLeod, Postcolonial London : rewriting the metropolis (Routledge, 2004) -- especially Chapter 1, 'Making a Song and Dance'. 

Susheila Nasta, Home Truths: Fictions of the South Asian Diaspora in Britain (Palgrave, 2002) -- especially Chapter 2: 'Crossing Over and Shifting the Shapes: Sam Selvon's Londoners', pp. 56-92. 

Susheila Nasta (ed.), Critical perspectives on Sam Selvon (Three Continents, 1988).

_______, ‘Setting up home in a city of words : Sam Selvon's London novels' in Tiger's triumph : celebrating Sam Selvon, ed. Susheila Nasta and Anna Rutherford (Dangaroo, 1995), pp. 78-95. Reprinted in A. Robert Lee (ed.), Other Britain, other British : contemporary multicultural fiction. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.  

Lawrence Phillips, London narratives : post-war fiction and the city (Continuum, 2006) – see chapter 5. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

James Procter, Dwelling places : postwar black British writing (Manchester University Press, 2003). 

2.3.2. Buchi Emecheta, Second-Class citizen

Ashley Dawson, Mongrel nation : diasporic culture and the making of postcolonial Britain (University of Michigan Press, 2007) -- an Open Access e-book of the whole text is available from the University of Michigan website!  Click here: https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/id/ed5ba597-2e70-41a3-aec1-c8f5a9635a63/648347.pdf

Olga Kenyon, Writing women : contemporary women novelists (Pluto, 1991) — Chapter 8, ‘Buchi Emecheta and Black Immigrant Experience in Britain’.

John McLeod, Postcolonial London : rewriting the metropolis (Routledge, 2004).

Lucinda Newns, 'Mothering in the Diaspora: Creative (Re)Production in Buchi Emecheta's Early London Novels' in Domestic Intersections in Contemporary Migration Fiction: Homing the Metropole (Routledge, 2020), pp. 25-50.    

Lawrence Phillips, London narratives : post-war fiction and the city (Continuum, 2006) – see chapter 5. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Susanne Pichler, Buchi Emecheta's "London novels" : an intercultural approach (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2001).

Omar Sougou, ‘The Experience of an African Woman in Britain : A Reading of Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen’ in Crisis and creativity in the new literatures in English. Canada, ed. Davis and Maes- Jelinek (Rodopi, 1990), pp. 511-522.

Marie Umeh (ed.), Emerging perspectives on Buchi Emecheta (Africa World Press, 1996) — has a couple of good essays on S-CC.

2.3.3. Linton Kwesi Johnson, Selected Poems

David Austin, Dread Poetry & Freedom: Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution (Pluto Press, 2018).      

Ashley Dawson, ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Dub Poetry and the Political Aesthetics of Carnival in Britain ’, Small Axe, 21, 2006, pp. 54-69 – highly recommended, and available online at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/small_axe/v011/11.1dawson.pdf

Ashley Dawson, Mongrel nation : diasporic culture and the making of postcolonial Britain (University of Michigan Press, 2007).

Christian Habekost, Verbal riddim : the politics and aesthetics of African-Caribbean dub poetry (Rodopi, 1993). 

Linton Kwesi Johnson in conversation with John La Rose in Changing Britannia : life experience with Britain, ed. by Roxy Harris and Sarah White (New Beacon, 1999), pp. 51-79 [available from me.] Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Linton Kwesi Johnson, 'Writing Reggae: Poetry, Politics and Popular Culture', Moving worlds. : Journal of Transcultural Writings 6 (1), 2006, pp. 2-18.

John McLeod, Postcolonial London : rewriting the metropolis (Routledge, 2004) -- esp. Chapter 4.

Jordan Musser, 'The Avant-Garde is in the Audience: On the Popular Avant-Gardism of Linton Kwesi Johnson's Dub Poetry', Twentieth-Century Music, 16:3, 2019,pp. 457-499.

Henghameh Saroukhani, 'Penguinizing Dub: Paratextual Frames for Transnational Protest in Linton Kwsi Johnson's Mi Revalueshanary Fren', Journal of postcolonial writing., 51 (3), 2015, pp. 256-268.

Bruce Woodcock, “I’ll show you something to make you change your mind”: Post-Colonial Translations of the Streets of London’, Kunapipi XXI (2), 1999, pp. 57-65.

[See also the relevant historical sections in James Procter (ed.), Writing black Britain, 1948-1998 : an interdisciplinary anthology (MUP, 2000).]

2.3.4. Hanif Kureishi, The buddha of suburbia

Suresh Renjen Bald, ‘Negotiating Identity in the Metropolis: Generational Differences in South Asian British Fiction’ in Writing across worlds : literature and migration, ed. Russell King et.al. (Routledge, 1995), pp. 70-88. EBook available

John Clement Ball, ‘The Semi-Detached Metropolis: Hanif Kureishi's London ’, Ariel., 27 (4), 1996, pp.7-27. (A version of this is also in his Imagining London : postcolonial fiction and the transnational metropolis.) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Alberto Fernando Carbajal, 'Of interethnic (dis)connection: queer phenomenology, and cultural and religious commodification in Hanif Kureishi's My Beautiful Launderette (1985) and The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)' in Queer Muslim Diasporas in Contemporary Literature and Film (Manchester University Press, 2019), pp. 33-61.    

Hanif Kureishi, ‘The Rainbow Sign’ in My beautiful laundrette and The rainbow sign (Faber, 1986).

Bart Moore-Gilbert, Hanif Kureishi ( Manchester University Press, 2001) -- still the best monograph available on Kureishi.

Susheila Nasta, Home truths : fictions about the South Asian diaspora in Britain (Palgrave, 2001).

Berthold Schoene, ‘Herald of Hybridity: The Emancipation of Difference in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia’, International journal of cultural studies., 1 (1), pp. 109-128.

Zadie Smith, 'The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi' in Feel Free: Essays (Penguin, 2018), pp. 236-247.  You can also read Smith's marvellous essay on the impact of Kureishi's novel in some recent editions of the text, as well as online here: https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/zadie-smith-on-the-buddha-of-suburbia

Mark Stein, Black British literature : novels of transformation (University of Ohio Press, 2004).

 

2.3.5. Stephen Frears (dir.), Dirty pretty things

Have a look at the 'Extra Resources' section of the VLE regarding this text. Also, see the following: http://www.literarylondon.org/london-journal/september2006/hovet.html

Sarah Gibson, ' "The Hotel Business is About Strangers": Border Politics and Hospitable Places in Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things', Third text., 20 (6), 2006, pp. 693-701.

Tom Whittaker, 'Between the Dirty and the Pretty: Bodies in Utopia in Dirty Pretty Things', International journal of cultural studies., 14 (2), 2011, pp. 121-132.

 

2.3.6. Gurinder Chadha (dir), Bend it like Beckham [videorecording]

Mary AnnChacko, ‘ Bend it Like Beckham: Dribbling the Self Through a Cross-Cultural Space’, Multicultural perspectives, 12 (2), 2010, pp. 81-86.

Yasmin Hussain, Writing diaspora : South Asian women, culture and ethnicity (Ashgate, 2005).

Anjali Gera Roy, ‘Translating Difference in Bend it Like Beckham ’, New cinemas : journal of contemporary film., 4 (1), 2006, pp. 55-66.

 

2.3.7. Zadie Smith, NW

James Arnett, Neoliberalism and False Consciousness Before and After Brexit in Zadie Smith's NW', The Explicator, 76:1, 2018, pp. 1-7.

Alberto Fernandez Carbajal, 'On Being Queer and Postcolonial: Reading Zadie Smith's NW through Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway ', The journal of Commonwealth literature., 2014, pp. 1-16 -- you can view this on campus via the JCL website.

Tammy Amiel Houser, 'Zadie Smith's NW: unsettling the promise of empathy', Contemporary Literature, 58:1, 2017, pp. 116-148.

Wendy Knepper, 'Revisionary Modernism and Postmillennial Experimentation in Zadie Smith's NW' in Philip Tew (ed.), Reading Zadie Smith: The First Decade and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 111-126.    

Molly Slavin, 'Nowhere and Northwest, Brent and Britain: Geographies of Elsewhere in Zadie Smith's NW ', Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association (48:1) 2015, pp. 97-119. [You should be able to access through JStor when on campus.]

Lyn Wells, 'The Right to a Secret: Zadie Smith's NW' in Philip Tew (ed.), Reading Zadie Smith: The First Decade and Beyond  (Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 97-110.    

 

2.3.8. Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City

John McLeod, 'When Memories Fade: Remembering Anti-Racism in Contemporary Black British Writing', Wasafiri (34:4), 2019, pp. 18-23.

[This is a very recent novel and little published scholarship is available, so have a look at some of the following articles online as well:]

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/28/guy-gunaratne-citizen-of-now-interview

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/01/the-london-book-of-our-lifetime-guy-gunaratne-wins-jhalak-prize

https://guygunaratne.com/

https://longreads.com/2018/12/11/interview-with-guy-gunaratne/

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/twenty-questions-guy-gunaratne/

This list was last updated on 25/08/2021