This Introduction establishes post-war British literature of decolonization as intervening in the political and racial tensions that would give rise to multiculturalism and postcolonial critiques of the Empire. Rather than being defined by nostalgia, a range of post-war writers can be read as investing in a new conception of British identity that moves beyond colonialist hierarchies of race and culture. In addition, a range of texts that deal with the impact of decolonization draws on the formal experimentalism, moral awareness, and self-reflexive nature of modernist literature and anticipates the metafictional aesthetics of postmodernism. My conceptual approach establishes the uncertain and uneven nature of decolonization in the immediate post-war decades, and how a ‘multi-cultural materialist’ methodology offers a productive vocabulary for analysing cultural responses to it.


Mass Immigration Fait Accompli British Culture Colonial Expansion Imperial Identity 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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