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The race problem with the Booker

Publié par Clifford Armion le 18/10/2011

Alex Wheatle

Although without much plot, I enjoyed Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English, especially the narrative voice of 11-year-old Harrison that was laced with humour, innocence and authenticity. The story, [which features the internal voice of a pigeon] could have done without the pigeon's perspective but I hope it secures a victory at the forthcoming Man Booker ceremony because depictions of the black underclass in the UK are so rare in literary fiction.

I do wonder why it had to take a white author to explore the black underprivileged to finally attract the attention of a major award.

Encouraged by the success of Irvine Welsh's Scottish working-class dialect-driven Trainspotting, long-listed for the 1993 Booker Prize, and by James Kelman's Booker-winning How Late It Was, also written in an uncompromising Scottish vernacular, I began to make notes on my own debut novel, Brixton Rock, intending my characters to speak in the unique young black Brixtonian argot of 1980.

Read on...

Pour citer cette ressource :

"The race problem with the Booker", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), octobre 2011. Consulté le 28/09/2020. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/the-race-problem-with-the-booker