The multicultural Midlands

By Thomas Kew

The multicultural Midlands


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5452-1
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: January 2023
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / General, Contemporary Literature, Biography, Literature & Literary studies, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 21st Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 20th Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: general
  • Series: Multicultural Textualities


The Multicultural Midlands is a unique, interdisciplinary study of the literature, music and food that shape the region's irrepressible, though often overlooked, cultural identity. It is the first of its kind to give serious critical attention to a part of the world which is frequently ignored by readers, critics and the culture industries. This book makes a claim for the importance of the Midlands and evidences this with nuanced close reading of a multitude of diverse texts spanning so-called 'high' to 'low' culture; from the Black Country's 'Desi Pubs', to Leicester's 'McIndians' Peri Peri ('you've tried the cowboys, now try the Indians!'); Handsworth's reggae roots to Adrian Mole's diaries.


Introduction: A so what? sort of place

Nottingham: Writing the 'rebel' city
Nottingham introduction:
1 Performance poetry, COVID-19 and the new 'public sphere'
2 #rebelnotts: literary tourism in Alan Sillitoe's Nottingham
Coda: 'Ode to a Raleigh Burner'

Leicester: The 'model' multicultural city
Leicester introduction:
3 Piri piri chicken: 'demotic cosmopolitanism' in contemporary Leicester
4 #WeNeedDiverseBooks: diversity in Leicester's young adult fiction
5 'Leicester Leicester/ Fester fester': at home with Adrian Mole
Coda: Brimful of Leicester

Birmingham: (re)building the second City
Birmingham introduction
6 Is Birmingham a 'non-place'?
7 'Double vision' in Handsworth Art
Coda: 'Our new layered city'

The West Midlands: from Shakespeare to Syal
West Midlands introduction
8 'Pathos, politics and paratha': re-reading West Midlands, South Asian literature
9 The great 'talent drain' of the West Midlands: Lenny Henry, Caitlin Moran and Sathnam Sanghera
Coda: Desi pubs of the Black Country

The self-deprecating conclusion



Tom Kew is a lecturer in Hospitality and Visitor Economy Management at Nottingham College, and an independent researcher and creative professional working in events, venue and music management

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