Reappraising Jane Duncan: Sexuality, Race and Colonialism in the My Friends Novels
McFarland, Feb 28, 2017 - 196 páginas
Scottish novelist Jane Duncan's semiautobiographical My Friends series was dismissed by postwar critics as lightweight, at a time when a coterie of "angry young men" monopolized the attention of the British publishing establishment. Yet deeper themes are at play in the 19 novels. Modern readers will recognize feminist motifs, a wide-ranging examination of women's education and work in the 20th century, a woman's view of the rising societal tensions of the 1920s and 1930s, and an outsider's perspective on the racial divide in the soon-to-be-independent West Indies.
This book explores Duncan's body of work, out of print for decades, though sought by loyal fans. Her characters run the gamut--drunken tinkers, Lowland housewives, Irish miners, members of the London fast set and English marchionesses, all portrayed with telling detail. Her novels--two of them recently reprinted for a new generation--reveal a charming and perceptive recorder of the changes Great Britain underwent in the past century.