Narratives of Inequality

Postcolonial Literary Economics

  • Melissa Kennedy

Part of the New Comparisons in World Literature book series (NCWL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Melissa Kennedy
    Pages 1-34
  3. Melissa Kennedy
    Pages 35-98
  4. Melissa Kennedy
    Pages 99-154
  5. Melissa Kennedy
    Pages 155-210
  6. Melissa Kennedy
    Pages 211-219
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 221-229

About this book


This book reveals the economic motivations underpinning colonial, neocolonial and neoliberal eras of global capitalism that are represented in critiques of inequality in postcolonial fiction. Today’s economic inequality, suffered disproportionately by indigenous and minority groups of postcolonial societies in both developed and developing countries, is a direct outcome of the colonial-era imposition of capitalist structures and practices. The longue durée, world-systems approach in this study reveals repeating patterns and trends in the mechanics of capitalism that create and maintain inequality. As well as this, it reveals the social and cultural beliefs and practices that justify and support inequality, yet equally which resist and condemn it.

Through analysis of narrative representations of wealth accumulation and ownership, structures of internal inequality between the rich and the poor within cultural communities, and the psychology of capitalism that engenders particular emotions and behaviour, this study brings postcolonial literary economics to the neoliberal debate, arguing for the important contribution of the imaginary to the pressing issue of economic inequality and its solutions.


Labour Poverty Property Financial crisis Recession Austerity

Authors and affiliations

  • Melissa Kennedy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ViennaViennaAustria

Bibliographic information