‘Where do you belong?’
De-scribing Imperial identity from alien to migrant
in Across the margins

Timothy Brennan argues that following the Second World War, English social identity underwent a transformation based on its earlier imperial encounters. Edward Said has maintained in Culture and Imperialism that the imposition of national identity is implicit in the domestic novel in its boundaries, exclusions, and silences. A common opinion has been that, post-Independence, the British sense of Imperial and economic failure was projected on to migrating peoples, as aliens, immigrants, foreigners. In 1960, Doris Lessing and J. P. Donleavy contributed to a book entitled Alienation, which offers a series of personal views of England from people born elsewhere. The repeated phase of alienation was playing itself out as farce, and Anglo-Indians themselves began to explore new identities based less on displacement, homelessness, and exile than on migration and relocation.

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Across the margins

Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

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