Set against the milieu of India’s recent emancipation from British rule and the indelible scars left by the country’s 1947 partition with Pakistan, Black British subverts the classic migrant tale. Instead of detailing a middling family uprooting their lives in search of economic opportunities on foreign shores, it features an affluent Goan family at its centre. They are looking to leave India because their wealth, language, and British-led traditions have grown incongruous with that of the larger population. This sense of privilege is acknowledged throughout the novel, with occasionally heavy-handed passages dedicated to contextualising the discrepancy between the Indians consigned to occupy the lower strata of society and the ‘black British’ with vestiges of the colonial rulers stamped on their beliefs and values system.
Sonia Nair reviews 'Black British: A novel' by Hebe de Souza
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Sonia Nair is Reviews Editor at Right Now and a freelance writer and critic.
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