Looking Back, Looking Forward: Revisiting the Windrush Myth

Alison Donnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter offers a critical overview of historical, cultural, and literary debates around ‘Windrush’. It revisits how the boat’s arrival in 1948 has come to represent the ‘beginnings’ of multicultural Britain and the consequent reshaping of the nation’s identity. It examines which factors influenced the writers and works that came to prominence and gained an enduring currency as Windrush narratives; it also attends to works that have been less celebrated. The particular focus of the chapter is on how the construction of the Windrush experience within literary works has aligned with wider political narratives to emphasise the ongoing challenges around the recognition and accommodation of black subjects within British culture and society. The chapter addresses two important blind spots within the literary framing of the Windrush experience: writings that emphasise transnational attachments and cultural mobility, as well as writings by women.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing
EditorsSusheila Nasta, Mark Stein
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages195 - 211
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781108164146
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Cite this