Saturday, 15 March 2014

Great Britain and the Great Divide

Am I stating the obvious if I say it is hard to write a book set in Britain and not address the social class divide?  Perhaps, but I will.  I have no doubt that social class affects the lives of inhabitants of Britain more than most (if not all other) places in the world. For that reason, to an outsider it may seem crazy but everything from a person's accent and attire, to their education and career prospects, the friends they select, the food they eat, how they spend their social time, even the way they select and process information - everything is governed and pigeon-holed into one social class category or another.  It was only when I moved to Paris as a student that I realised there is an alternative way to live.

Yes, it has changed in the past 17 years or so but, compared to other countries, the social class divide still dominates our lives more than it should.  I'd like to ignore it and I refuse to be pigeon-holed, but in reality, in Britain, there is no escape.

Here are some contemporary British novels that I've read recently that address the social class divide:

Bone Season, The by Samantha Shannon

Capital by John Lanchester

Casual Vacancy, The by J.K. Rowling

Lemon Grove, The by Helen Walsh

 NW by Zadie Smith

One Day by David Nicholls

Woman He Loved Before, The by Dorothy Koomson 

And one I have written

Two Versions of the Same Song 

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