BrexLit and the marginalised migrant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This essay assesses the role that EU migrants play in current British BrexLit literature. While the growth in this particular new genre that tries to engage with the ramifications of the 2016 EU referendum in Britain is laudable, the essay contends that most BrexLit actively appears to exclude the voices of EU migrants. They might have cameo roles - generally as East European cleaners or Romanian plumbers - but they do not have vital roles to play in these works of fiction. Paying particularly close attention to Cian Jones's Everything I Found on the Beach (2011), Jonathan Coe's Middle England (2018) and Linda Grant's A Stranger City (2019), the essay contends that this appears to reflect contemporary British society where the voices of over 3 million EU migrants, many of whom have been resident in the UK for most of their lives, have been entirely silenced. BrexLit literature either attempts to mirror this situation or, more worryingly, to actually perpetuate it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrexit and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationNation and Identity
EditorsDaniela Keller, Ina Habermann
PublisherGunter Narr, Tübingen
Pages166-182
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783823394143
ISBN (Print)9783823384144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameSPELL: Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature
PublisherGunter Narr Verlag
Volume39

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • British Politics and Culture
  • Migrant Voices
  • Linda Grant
  • Jonathan Coe

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