Reappraising Jane Duncan: Sexuality, Race and Colonialism in the My Friends Novels
McFarland, 2017 M02 22 - 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.
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