Ester Gendusa

Black European Inscriptions and the Challenge to Modern Essentialist Identities: The Case of Bernardine Evaristo's Soul Tourists

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Bernardine Evaristo, Black British identities, European history, hibridity

This essay shows how the London-born Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo contributes, with her Soul Tourists (2005), to deconstructing modern European nationalist and racially exclusivist models by means of anti-essentialist representational strategies. Centred around the voyage by car and across Europe which, in the late eighties, leads two black Britons, Stanley Williams and Jessie O'Donnell, from England to the Middle East, the novel becomes an imaginative vehicle through which Evaristo represents the black presence as intrinsic to Europe since the 16th century and foregrounds the substantial contribution of black and mixed-race men and women to the cultural development of Western civilisation.

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