Rewriting ‘white’ genres in search of Afro-European identities
Travel and crime fiction by Bernardine Evaristo and Mike Phillips
Presuming that both travel and crime fiction can be described as traditionally ‘white’ genres, this article investigates how contemporary Black British authors appropriate these genres. Focusing on Mike Phillips’s A Shadow of Myself and Bernardine Evaristo’s Soul Tourists, the article examines how the two novels redeem and suspend the traditional racial and national coding of travel writing and crime fiction by rehabilitating black mixed-race characters. In both novels, moreover, the rethinking of traditional popular genres coincides with, and is partly enabled by, a transnational shift in focus from Britain to Europe. A closer look at the novels’ respective endings, finally, reveals how each conceptualises the relationship between Britain and Europe differently, and how this difference can be explained by the impact of genre.
Keywords: appropriation, crime fiction, imagining (Afro-)Europe, transculturality, travel writing
This article is currently available as a sample article.
Published online: 15 June 2017
Arana, R. Victoria & James Procter
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths & Helen Tiffin
Cuder Domínguez, Pilar
Edwards, Justin D. & Rune Graulund
Fischer-Hornung, Dorothea & Monika Mueller
Holland, Patrick & Graham Huggan
López, Marta Sofía
Matzke, Christine & Susanne Mühleisen
Pirker, Eva Ulrike
Reddy, Maureen T.
Rosenberg, Ingrid von