Slavery is a recurring subject in works by the contemporary black writers in Britain Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D'Aguiar, yet their return to this past arises from an urgent need to understand the racial anxieties of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain.
This book examines the ways in which their literary explorations of slavery may shed light on current issues in Britain today, or what might be thought of as the continuing legacies of the UK's largely forgotten slave past. In this highly original study of contemporary postcolonial literature, Abigail Ward explores a range of novels, poetry and non-fictional works by these authors in order to investigate their creative responses to the slave past.
This is the first study to focus exclusively on British literary representations of slavery, and thoughtfully engages with such notions as the ethics of exploring slavery, the memory and trauma of this past, and the problems of taking a purely historical approach to Britain's involvement in slavery or Indian indenture.
Although all three authors are concerned with the problem of how to commence representing slavery, their approaches to this problem vary immensely, and this book investigates these differences. -- .