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The race problem with the Booker

The Independent, 18 October 2011
Publié le : 18 octobre 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.

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mise à jour le 18 octobre 2011
Créé le 18 octobre 2011
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues