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Bad English

Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain

By Rachael Gilmour

Bad English

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0884-5
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2020
  • BIC Category: Literature, Literature: history & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Literature & literary studies / General, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism
  • Series: Manchester University Press

Description

Bad English investigates the impact of increasing language diversity, precipitated by migration, globalisation, and new forms of communication, in transforming contemporary literature in Britain. Considering writers whose work engages experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English's power, while exploring what it means to move between forms of language, it makes the case for literature as the pre-eminent medium to probe the terms of linguistic belonging, and for a diverse and growing field of writing in Britain defined by its inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms.

Bad English offers innovative readings of writers including James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, it will appeal to students and academics across these disciplines.

Contents

Introduction: Bad English
1 Thi langwij ah thi guhtr
2 Dictionary trawling
3 Prosthetic language
4 'Passing my voice into theirs'
5 Living in translation
6 'The language is the border'
Conclusions: 'Say Parsley'
References
Index

Author

Rachael Gilmour is Reader in Postcolonial and World Literature at Queen Mary University of London

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