London's histories of migration and settlement and the resulting diverse, hybrid communities have engendered new forms of social and cultural activity reflected in a wealth of novels, poems, films and songs. Postcolonial London explores the imaginative transformation of the city by African, Asian, Caribbean and South Pacific writers since the 1950s.
John McLeod engages freshly with the work of both well-known and emergent writers, including Sam Selvon, Doris Lessing, V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Colin MacInnes, Bernardine Evaristo, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Fred D'Aguiar. In reading a select body of writing in its social contexts and exploring contrasting attitudes to London's diasporic transformation, he traces an exciting history of resistance to the prejudice and racism that have at least in part characterised the postcolonial city. Rewritings of London, he argues, bear witness to the determination, imagination and creativity of the city's migrants and their descendants.
This is a superb study of the ways in which 'imperial centre' might be rewritten as postcolonial metropolis. It represents essential reading for those interested in British or postcolonial literature, or in theorisations of the city and metropolitan culture.