South Yorkshire Republic

Beatrix Campbell

  • Forever England by Beryl Bainbridge
    Duckworth/BBC, 174 pp, £9.95, April 1987, ISBN 0 563 20466 4
  • Nottinghamshire by Alan Sillitoe
    Grafton, 170 pp, £14.95, March 1987, ISBN 0 246 12852 6
  • Left behind: Journeys into British Politics by David Selbourne
    Cape, 174 pp, £10.95, February 1987, ISBN 0 224 02370 5

It is in poor old times like these that wordsmiths turn their minds to the collective state of the nation. We are driven to ask ourselves who we are, and who is ‘them’, and who is ‘us’. Who is Britain? Are you? Am I? While the Right proclaims a new nationalist project – to make Britain great once again – and in so doing invokes a notion of ‘we’ who share the same stake in some imagined national redemption, the Right’s critics are driven to the backyard of the nation where we will find, not the national ‘we’, but a miscellany of difference, where speech, circumstance, colour, sex and class suggest the experiences of exclusion, of otherness.

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