Narratives of Inequality: Postcolonial Literary Economics.


  • Asako Nakai



Whereas postcolonial criticism might have been entrapped into culturalism and identity politics, the novel, at least its best specimens, continues to address the more fundamental question of economic inequality whose relevance has been rediscovered since the 2008 financial crisis – or so Melissa Kennedy asserts in her latest book, Narratives of Inequality. The book offers an extensive survey of postcolonial fiction across different historical times and locations. Convinced that literary studies should play an important role in the critique of global capitalism along the lines of Thomas Piketty and Amartya Sen, Kennedy selects novels that explicitly handle economic vocabulary and subject-matter. According to her, these works register the same or similar structures of inequality regardless of their specific local, historical, and cultural contexts.


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