In search of a place in the empire: englishness, black belonging and national memory in two short stories by Andrea Levy

Denise Almeida Silva


This essay aims at investigating the interrogation of Englishness carried out by the black English writer Andrea Levy from within the place she occupies as an English citizen who descends from black Caribbean immigrants. This interrogation takes place in the context of the identity construction that follows the encounter between the English and their others, especially in the Windrush generation. Interviews and the essay “Back to my own country” (2014) provide insights for considerations on the influence of racist practice and thought on the social and cultural relations and on the invisibilization of black slavery in the English official history. Andrea Levy's fiction is seen as the means used by the writer to take a stand before historic omissions, and two short stories which highlight the relationship between black colonials and the white hegemony are analyzed to exemplify such fictional praxis, “That polite way that English people have” and “The empty pram”.


Andrea Levy: Identity; Englishness; Black Immigration; Belonging


Copyright (c) 2017 Denise Almeida Silva

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