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Jackie Kay: a poetic imagining of post-racial (be)longing

by Katy Massey
29 Nov 2012 • Comment (1) • Print
Posted: Post-Racial Imaginaries [9.2] | Article
 

Jackie Kay is a prolific and well-loved writer who, though she has written in many forms, is best-known for her poetry. A mixed-race Scot who lives in the north of England, her work frequently utilises the facts of her own life as a means to ponder wider issues of identity, loss and sexual desire. Her approach challenges some of the key categories of social identification such as race, culture and belonging. Her work also spotlights some of the most cherished concepts of post-colonialism, most notably hybridity, plurality and the condition of the ‘in-between’.

In this article I suggest that, as Kay’s work explores the process of racial mixing, a ‘mixed’ reading is required in order to fully expose the subtleties within it. Such a reading is innovative in that it exposes two previously unarticulated ideas. First, the idea that mixedness can form a site of creative production as it is a condition which demands new identifications are continually brought into being. Second, that this process serves as a site of political resistance because it has a destabilising influence on fixed notions of ‘race’ and the operation of racialised thinking. It is exactly such a reading of Kay’s first autobiographical collection, The Adoption Papers,[1] that this article attempts.

In suggesting the existence of a politically-resistant ‘mixed’ perspective, this article utilises ideas around racial mixing which have been developed in the field of in social science and cultural studies but have rarely been applied in literary criticism. For example, in the title of her book Mixed-race, Post-race: Gender, New Ethnicities and Cultural Practices[2] Suki Ali boldly positions the state of mixedness as ‘post-race’. By positioning ‘mixed’ status as sitting outside fixed racial identifiers, and in this sense ‘post’ or beyond established discourses around race, she opens a space for thinking about ‘race’ which leaves room for uncertainty, for a ‘betweeness’ which remains undefined because perpetually in a state of re-creation.

Thus, in terms of literary criticism, a ‘mixed’ reading is attentive to the underlying themes of restlessness and of irresolution which underpin Kay’s poetics. As a result, such a reading highlights a standpoint missed by those keen to induct Kay as a ‘second generation’ or glibly ‘hybrid’  black British writer. In addition, a ‘mixed’ reading can illuminate the perspectives of a number of contemporary writers who have consciously taken a ‘mixed’ point of view in their works. Among these are Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette[3] and The Buddha of Suburbia,[4] Zadie Smith’s White Teeth,[5] Bernardine Evaristo’s Lara,[6] Hari Kunzru’s The Impressionist,[7] Diane Evans’ 26a,[8] and Andrea Levy’s entire oeuvre including Small Island.[9]

I will focus on the how Kay approaches race and race mixing in her poetry, and argue that rather than standing outside notions of ‘race’ as a separate third space, ‘mixedness’ as she represents it is an idea which depends on the continual negotiations of the boundaries – racial, cultural and convivial – between so-called ‘races’. So, this article proposes that she articulates a subject-position where ideas of cultural and racial belonging are in a state of continual negotiation.

Scholarship on mixedness until this point tended to appropriate Bhabha’s notion of cultural hybridity to produce a ‘hybrid’ individual upon whose body the politics of race work to denote a racialised identity. In doing so, this use of hybridity constructs a mixed-race person who is defined according to their constituent racialised elements. The problem here is that who is defined as ‘mixed’ is specific to place and time. For example, until recently in the USA a person was ‘mixed’ or indeed ‘black’ if they had a single black grandparent according to the ‘one-drop rule’, even if they looked white. In some places this thinking still dominates. However, in the UK mixedness, like black identity, tends to hinge on visual identification. If you look white, you are racially defined as such.

Ali’s innovation was to construct mixedness as a creative site for the individual negotiation of varying racial identities. For her, the resistance of the mixed-race young people she interviewed to define themselves according to existing binaries of ‘black’ and ‘white’ identities as an example of ‘post-race’ thinking. Further, she describes the importance to them of other markers of self-definition, such as ethnicity, home and family as a way to “Form connections with the spiritual or spacial; with kin or with places”.[10]

As Ali notes, social life is key to these young people’s self-definition. And it is in the representation of social life and how it influences the mixed individual’s sense of self that the work of contemporary writers is illuminating. Kay’s work and that of the contemporary writers noted above explore life as it is lived between racial binaries. They explore this through social relationships, which impact not only on the mixed individual but also the persons close to them. The multiple modes of existence possible for individuals of different skin colours and cultures forms the focus of their work.

Further, their books display an intolerance of pervasive ideas around ‘race’, in particular notions of racial purity and how these enjoin to ideas of group identification, belonging, and national identity. Neither are these writers purely a product of post-modern concerns with performativity and constructedness, as anxiety about how ‘race’ is defined and constructed by society is an ages-old concern. The first known literary text to take a mixed individual as its subject was the anonymously-penned 18th century text The Woman of Colour.[11]

It is the uncertain nature of mixed identities which enables both historical and contemporary writers to exploit the void of meaning around mixedness. It is this void which allows the space for mixed-race Olive, the heroine of The Woman of Colour, to negotiate the pitfalls of status and class in 18th century England[12] just as much as it does the characters invented by Smith and Kunzru  – who’s race-shifting hero begins The Impressionist with the name Pran Nath and ends the story as Jonathan Bridgeman.

In these works, ‘race’ itself is posited an experiential, rather than an objectively definable, state. And it is an experience largely defined through everyday social and familial life. In this way racial identifiers cease to be fixed and stable – as indeed does the practice and idea of ‘racism’. Rather, ‘race’ and its effects are dependent on encounters taking place at fixed temporal and geographical points. The effects of these encounters are sometimes troublesome, sometimes compassionate, but always specific to time and location. As such they form a rejection of the notion of mixedness as fixed pathology, as first articulated in Stonequist’s[13] remarkably tenacious idea of the mixed ‘marginal’ individual, who is doomed from birth to interior cultural conflict, racial rejection and social failure.

To elucidate, I will attempt a reading of Kay’s autobiographical first collection of poetry The Adoption Papers from a ‘mixed’ perspective. By this I mean a point of view which is tolerant of the ongoing uncertainty of mixedness as I have defined it above, and of the contradictions inherent in normative racial discourses. I hope that this ‘mixed reading’ exposes the ongoing tensions and negotiations around the variety of identities to which Kay has access, while she simultaneously refuses to entirely embrace any single one. Like the idea of mixedness, a ‘mixed reading’ is both a metaphor – mixedness as a site tolerant of racial and cultural uncertainties – and a site of resistance, because a mixed reading exposes as it resists racial orthodoxies, especially notions of racial purity and racial separation.

In this collection, Kay tells her story of her early years from three different perspectives: her own and those of her white mothers – both birth and adoptive. Using this technique enables Kay to supersede the racially defined terrain of the body, because no marker of identity in Kay’s world is reliable. In chapter 7, ‘Black Bottom’, the sequence of poems which deals with racial identity most explicitly, Kay is growing up, a young mixed-race woman in Glasgow, and she has a crush on Angela Davis:

Angela Davis is the only female person

I’ve seen (except for a nurse on TV)

Who looks like me.[14]

But a couple of lines later, even this stable identification is disturbed:

Her skin is the same too you know.

I can see my skin is that colour

but most of the time I forget,

so sometimes when I look in the mirror

I give myself a bit of a shock

and say to myself Do you really look like this?

as if I’m somebody else… [15]

The point here is that Kay’s racial identity is being formed as much from being looked at as it is from living inside her skin. She looks from the inside out, can’t see herself and thus forgets her ‘assigned’ racial identity. However, even this problematised racial ‘becoming’ is a challenge for her adoptive mother:

Maybe that’s why I don’t like

all this talk about her being black,

I brought her up as my own

as I would any other child

colour matters to the nutters;

but she says my daughter says

it matters to her.[16]

However, the expectations and associations of Kay’s non-white status press in on her too. This is why ‘it matters’. As a young girl she is teased in the street with cries of ‘Sambo’. When she boxes the ears of the boy responsible, a teacher labels her, with a neat piece of racist inversion, a ‘juvenile delinquent’. Similarly, while trying to learn the steps of the Black Bottom for the school show, she is told:

My teacher shouts from the bottom

Of the class, Come on, show

us what you can do I thought

you people had it in your blood.[17]

These external forces also limit the boundaries of Kay’s youthful imagination, so whereas she identifies with Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn, these possibilities are foreclosed by the expectations of others:

…I says to my teacher Can’t I be

Elizabeth Taylor, drunk and fat and she

Just laughed, not much chance of that.[18]

The pain of this continual commentary on her difference is also a factor in the critical consideration of her work. In conversation Kay has commented:

‘You don’t get the likes of Ted Hughes or Andrew Motion constantly being described as white, male, middle-class and heterosexual. And if every time they were written about they had to face these terms it would really be a pain in the arse for them, so why should I have to put with it?’[19]

So, it can be inferred that for Kay, her poetry is perceived as being produced, not simply by a writer, but a writer like her, with all the expectations that her biographical information brings with it. In practice, she feels she is regarded as an ethnically-marked writer above and beyond the all other elements of her identity. As she notes, non-minority identities generally go unremarked, and so it is with her background. And her work acknowledges this, foregrounding as it does the importance of everyday, lived existence and especially the importance of being seen and defined by others.

Her choices in this process are limited, and thus form a limitation on the self-determination implied by my definition of what is ‘post-racial’. For instance, The Woman of Colour, discussed above, is fascinating today because its heroine, Olive, and her maid move easily between groups who are now, erroneously from the point of view of a mixed reading, regarded as clearly separable. Olive is the daughter of a slave, but is bound by the terms of her planter father’s significant legacy to travel to England and marry into white British aristocracy. When, at the end of the novel, Olive sails back to Jamaica to work on improving the condition of slaves, she moves from the coercive demands of her late father’s will, to making a choice to mix with and help the slave population. In this sense, Olive has moved from a post-colonial state – subject to the coercive structures of colonialism – to one which is ‘post-racial’ as defined by Ali. That is, from the forced experience of moving to England, through an ongoing intermingling and repositioning of her various identities while in that territory (mulatto, orphan, heiress) to an assertion of her will through choice. However, her choices are not infinite and are limited by the expectations and opinions of others through a discourse about her (visible) mixed condition which she cannot control.

For example, Moss[20] describes Smith’s White Teeth as a novel about ‘hybridity – racial, cultural and linguistic – as part of the practice of everyday life’.[21] She proposes that Smith is part of a group of authors who are writing about the interaction and interplay between cultures, races and languages in a way that suggests not confusion or contamination of a previously pristine, authentic space (or bloodline) but rather as a chosen, ongoing series of encounters. Moss suggests that attachments between individuals who may belong to different titular ‘races’ can be analysed and accounted for outside normative polarities of race. Rather like Tate[22] who’s ‘hybridity of the everyday’ strives to allow for a positional and strategic negotiation with racial identity in the everyday speech she recorded between women of colour.

Tate asserts, after Butler, that the subject is interpellated (or called into being) through speech, a process, which once acknowledged “can ground hybridity within the everyday”.[23] By fully acknowledging this as part of the process of her research, Tate argues that most formulations of hybridity have “been articulated without reference to how real-time phenomena are oriented in the production of hybrid identifications”.[24] In other words, hybrid identifications are called into being depending on when and where the defining talk is happening, in addition to of course who is speaking and who is listening. She posits instead an “ongoing assemblage of identifications”[25] where the forward movement of time is a dynamic factor. It is this dynamic which positions mixed literature as a site of creative production – an ongoing and transformative negotiation with normative racial identifications – but also one of political resistance, as new formations of identifications are called into being.

In this sense, Kay’s poetry can be utilised as a site of creative responses to these processes, a location which has similarities to Anzaldúa’s[26] borderlands of identification but which, through the process of intimacy, insists on the centrality of multiple-identifications, the importance of assemblage, rather than decries its marginalisation. As Anzaldúa argues:

“She [the mestiza, person of mixed-race] learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates in pluralistic mode – nothing is thrust out, the good the bad the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only does she sustain contradictions, she turns the ambivalence into something else.[27]

This ‘something else’ resists stable definition, but lends literature which takes racial mixing as its subject matter – perhaps properly called ‘mixed literature’ – its creative and political power. But as mixed identities are so complex and out-of-focus, the writer who takes on cultural concerns about racial mixing is, in effect, in the unusual position of imagining what cannot be defined. This is also the ‘something else’ referred to, but not delineated by Anzaldúa. Something else which perhaps, as Bhabha put it: “Defines a boundary that is at once both inside and outside”.[28]

Because it is in the mode of imagining what cannot be concretely described, Kay’s poetry manages to illuminate a mixed perspective through employing the metaphor of ‘blood’. The notion of ‘blood’ runs throughout the collection, and signifies many layers of belonging: family, racial and national. Kay’s use of it works to supersede the notion of race, while not entirely undermining it. Here, she reflects on its meaning as it enjoins to family origins:

I have my parents who are not of the same tree

and you keep trying to make it matter,

the blood, the tie, the passing down

generations.

We all have our contradictions,

the ones with the mother’s nose and the father’s eyes

have them;

the blood does not bind confusion,

yet I confess to my contradiction

I want to know my blood.[29]

In this passage she is explicit that she embodies a ‘contradiction’, the fact that her white adoptive parents are not blood relations to her is something which she claims doesn’t matter, and that knowing one’s bloodline is no guarantee against ‘confusion’. However in the face of all this, she still wants to know her blood relatives.

Blood is not being used to mean ‘race’ here; Kay uses it as a metaphor for familial belonging, and there is no explicit linkage to racial identity. However, to argue that race plays no part of this longing for belonging would be inaccurate. Her skin colour is the thing which most clearly marks Kay as different from her adoptive family, hence the poems reiterate the importance of visual identification:

I tell them: I have no nose or mouth or eyes

to match, no spitting image or dead cert’

my face watches itself in the glass.[30]

Here, Kay imagines herself as a complex interplay of external and internal forces which are brought home to her when she looks at herself in a mirror. In this way she cuts racial identities loose from their political significations, and questions if seeing really is knowing.

However, mixedness as a concept is useful here, whereas mixture defined as the physical or biological mixing of titular races as a way of understanding Kay’s point of view is not. In The Adoption Papers Kay exhibits feelings far from those of Rushdie’s immigrant author that ‘the past is home’.[31] In fact, Kay’s poetic struggle is to formulate a sense of her ‘self’ when there is no past for her to draw on, no essential marker from which her growing up and becoming can be plotted. She cannot know where she comes from, and her poems describe a lack of a beginning to her true ‘self’. In this sense, the notion of the mixed-race subject as a ‘mixture’ of two races and their cultures offers no meaning, simply because they are not available to Kay the adopted child.

However, she does examine herself with a double vision: that of how she sees the world from inside her shifting identities – and how she is regarded from the point of view of external, normalising forces. These two perspectives are dynamic and dependent on one another. It is perhaps as a result of these structural forces that Kay’s body of work so far lacks in-depth critical assessment. Such critical responses which do exist, tend to consider her work within the context of Scottish or post-colonial/diasporic poetry. There is, as a result, a dearth of criticism which accepts Kay’s complex imaginings of the shifting constituents of her own identity on its own terms.

Thus McClellan[32] writes of Kay as a second generation black woman. She clarifies: ‘By ‘second generation’ I mean the children of migrants to the United Kingdom from Africa or the Caribbean’.[33] But this is not wholly Kay’s background, as her birth mother was white and Scottish, her birth father a black African, and she was adopted in infancy by a white, communist Scottish couple. This information forms the nucleus of the complex relationships and identifications described in The Adoption Papers. But in assigning an identity to Kay – rather than accepting Kay’s own negotiation with many possible identities – the subtleties in her poetry and its complex analysis of the ramifications of exactly this kind of labelling exercise is ignored. As a result McClellan posits an argument which becomes difficult to account for when Kay’s mixedness is acknowledged.

McClellan is concerned with the ‘dual imagery of dislocation from the mother and dislocation from the motherland’ which, she argues, ‘feeds much of Kay’s work’.[34] In McClellan’s analysis, Kay’s characters function ‘in direct relation to the notion of second generation dislocation or removal from the nationhood of their parents’.[35] McClellan examines the ‘fantasy’ of nation and motherhood in Kay’s work and states ‘that ultimately nationhood, for the dislocated, is invented’.[36] However, in forcing a metaphor which ignores the complexity of Kay’s network of identifications, she troublingly characterises the ‘child’ in Kay’s work as ‘dislocated’. Thus: ‘the cultural and national identity a Scottish, African or Afro-Caribbean mother legitimately claims as indisputably her own, in Kay’s words, cannot be transferred, legitimately or wholly, to her dislocated child’.[37]

As well as carrying worrying echoes of discourses on the ‘pathology’ of the mixed-race individual, her analysis betrays itself by asserting that it is ‘Africa, the so called ‘dark continent’ of the colonizing era [which] was unknowable to the white colonising forces as it is now unknowable to many British people of African origin’.[38] At the same time however, the category of Scottish remains un-interrogated, and apparently assumed to be unitary and coherent. So, she describes Kay as a self-exiled Scottish writer and states: ‘Kay’s work … is littered with references to adoption as well as to Scotland as a motherland and as a location associated with mothers’.[39] But McClellan’s analysis only concerned itself with African or Afro-Caribbean locations for the ‘motherland’ and, through silence, fails to acknowledge the possibility of a Scottish ‘home’ for Kay.

This concentration on what McClellan imagines to be Kay’s African or Afro-Caribbean racial identity fails to acknowledge the sophistication of Kay’s poetic imagining of what ‘family’ and ‘belonging’ actually mean. Also, these racialised assumptions regarding Kay’s background are un-interrogated – even though Kay’s examination of the identities others wish to impose on her is a strong theme in The Adoption Papers. As a result, McClellan seems to conjure a binary opposition of ‘black’ and ‘white’, where ‘white’ is silent and unremarked, and ‘black’ wholly subsumes Kay’s identity, even if her ‘black’ motherland is impossible to access. In this analysis, Kay becomes not only dislocated but also homeless, whereas her ‘dislocation’ could be read as having given her many different possible homes (for example, through birth, adoption or chosen), an assemblage of possible homes.

McClellan’s work and the way it subsumes Kay’s identity within the category of second-generation ‘black’ writers, illustrates the dilemma inherent in how mixed literature is received. It remains, seemingly, stuck between a rock of dislocation and the hard place of misidentification. As a result, Kay’s work appears not to occupy both the inside and the outside of her possible identities, that is, how she sees herself and how she is seen by others, but is cast by McClellan as wholly outside normative identities. The universality of Kay’s experience – surely a clue as to the success of her work – gives away wholly to her otherness, to ‘difference’. As a result, her ‘everyday-ness’, and her truth-telling about life as it is lived day-to-day, is no more.

A mixed reading is alive to the possibility of multiple identities and thus allows the subtleties in Kay’s poetry to sing. Accordingly, I argue that it is Kay’s particular double vision, that of her reflection in the mirror and the version of herself implied in the gaze of others, rather than questions of racial identity per se, that forms her ‘contradiction’, rather than say, the absence of an unknowable motherland. Similarly, there is a duality as to how Kay imagines herself in the collection. She is defined by what is present – her non-white skin, her adoptive mother, her Scottishness  – ‘the land I come from/the soil in my blood’[40] – and the racism she experiences. But she is also defined by what is absent: her birth mother, her father, and her wider blood family.

This absence is brought to life by Kay’s imagining of her birth mother’s point of view and the words she puts into her mouth:

Olubayo was the colour of peat

when we walked out heads turned

like horses, folk stood like trees

their eyes fixed on us – it made me

burn, that hot glare; my hand

would sweat down to his bone.

Finally, alone, we’d melt

nothing, nothing would matter[41]

This passage illustrates how Kay’s use of language weaves a complex web of influences all of which are at play in the formation of her selfhood. Peat, trees, horses are bucolic references to a rural order disturbed by the hot glare of staring eyes. The heat, sweat and bone of the second part of the verse invokes both the couple’s lust but also the climate of Olubayo’s African home to which he will shortly return. Their melting into one another becomes Kay, who will draw her heritage from this rich quilt of diverse influences. The success of this passage is that both the experience of their public courtship and Kay’s sympathy with her birth-parents’ predicament is conveyed through simple language. A bass-note, a rhythm of internal rhyme emphasises the harsh aspects of the scene – turned/burn, bone/alone – so love and passion are powerfully conveyed while the end of the affair is also foreshadowed.

Conclusion

As can be seen in my examination of Kay’s poems, mixed literature, when it is recognised as such, illuminates the experiential nature of ‘race’ and specifically undermines biological definitions dependent on skin colour. By positioning mixedness and racial uncertainty as un-extraordinary and ‘everyday’, the interplay between individuals of different racial markings can be analysed. And they can be analysed in such a way that assumed racial identities, and the ramifications of oppressive historical engagement, are not privileged above lived experiences such as friendship, sexuality and kinship groups.

This can be seen in The Adoption Papers, where the ‘everydayness’ of mixedness experienced by the young is Kay is captures in her school life and her familial relationships. It is how these affect her growing sense of self which drives the reader further into her story. In addition, where an absence or troubling encounter disrupts Kay’s journey to maturity these gaps are filled, not with pathology, but with the work of the imagination, such as when Kay gives voice to her birth mother. It is the richness of her imagination, rather than the tragedy of her dislocation, which is key to tracing the developing sense of self explored in these poems.

As I have discussed, mixedness as defined above, is also a site of political struggle because it accepts the creative possibilities of racial uncertainties. Mixedness rejects pathology and transforms irresolution and uncertainty into an indefinable ‘something else’. Through this, and by rejecting the meaningfulness of racial purity, mixedness becomes a way to undermine normative discourses around race.

These characteristics of mixedness become accessible in Kay’s work through the act of conducting a mixed reading of her poetry. A mixed reading is alive to the dynamic and evolving nature of self-identification. As such, voices located both within racial majorities and racial minorities can be exposed and interrogated, instead of obscured by binary-inflected racial discourses. For example, in The Adoption Papers it is Kay’s mothers’ voices which shine a light on an area of experience which is little-acknowledged: that of the lives of white mothers of non-white children. It is in exposing these voices that conducting a mixed reading becomes an act of political resistance.

Further, the representation of ‘the everyday’, that is, the normalcy of mixing, or mixedness, becomes, in Kay’s poetry, a system of poetics. These poetics rely for meaning on the metaphor, rather than biology, of mixing and are exemplified in the ongoing balancing and unresolved nature of multiple identities I observe in her work. These qualities are exemplified in the idea of a mixed literature, one which exhibits a tolerance for, even embracing of, ambivalence and acknowledges the creative possibilities of that which remains unfixed, undefined and thus floats free of prescribed ways of being.

Notes

1. Jackie Kay, The Adoption Papers. (Newcastle upon Tyne, Bloodaxe, 1991). [↑]

2. Suki Ali, Mixed-race, Post-race: Gender, New Ethnicities and Cultural Practices, (Oxford, Berg, 2003). [↑]

3. Ali, 179. [↑]

4. Hanif Kureishi, My Beautiful Laundrette, (London, Faber & Faber,1986). [↑]

5. Hanif Kureishi, The Budda of Suburbia, (London, Faber & Faber, 1990). [↑]

6. Zadie Smith, White Teeth, (London, Hamish Hamilton, 2000). [↑]

7. Bernardine Evaristo, Lara, (Tunbridge Wells, Angela Royal Publishing, 1997). [↑]

8. Hari Kunzru, The Impressionist (INSERT PUBLISHING INFO) [↑]

9. Diana Evans, 26a. (London, Vintage Books,2006). [↑]

10. Andrea Levy, Small Island, (London, Headline Review, 2004). [↑]

11. Lyndon J Dominique, ed. The Woman of Colour: A Tale by Anonymous. (Ontario, Broadview, 2008). [↑]

12. In both Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Austen’s unfinished Sanditon single woman of colour, both heiresses from the West Indies, also appear. [↑]

13.  Everett V Stonequist, The Marginal Man: A Study in Personality and Culture Conflict. (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1937). [↑]

14. Kay, 27. [↑]

15. Kay, 27. [↑]

16. Kay, 24. [↑]

17. Kay, 25. [↑]

18. Kay, 26. [↑]

19.  Maya Jaggi and Richard Dyer, “Jackie Kay in Conversation”, Wasafiri: 14.29 (1999): 53-61, 57. [↑]

20.  Laura Moss, “The Politics of Everyday Hybridity: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth”, Wasafiri: 18.39, (2003) 11-18. [↑]

21. Moss, 11. [↑]

22.  Shirley Anne Tate, Black skins, Black masks: hybridity, dialogism,performativity (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2005). [↑]

23. Tate, 58. [↑]

24.  Tate, 58. [↑]

25.  Tate, 58. [↑]

26.  Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera The New Mestiza, (San Franciso: Spinsters/Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987). [↑]

27.  Anzaldúa, 79. [↑]

28.  Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture. (London, Routledge, 1994), 14. [↑]

29. Kay, 29. [↑]

30. Kay, 29. [↑]

31.  Salman Rushdie, “Imaginary Homelands”, in Imaginary Homelands Essays and Criticism 1981-91, Salman Rushdie, (London, Granta Books, 1991), 9-21, 9. [↑]

32. Sarah McClellan, “The Nation of Mother and Child in the Work of Jackie Kay”, Obsidian III: 6.1, (2005) 114-129. [↑]

33. McClellan, 114. [↑]

34. McClellan, 114. [↑]

35. McClellan, 114. [↑]

36. McClellan, 124. [↑]

37. McClellan, 120. [↑]

38. McClellan, 116. [↑]

39. McClellan, 114. [↑]

40. Kay, 48. [↑]

41. Kay, 26. [↑]

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Katy Massey completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She recently completed her first novel, The Book of Ghosts, and works as a freelance writer and facilitator.
All posts by: Katy Massey | Email | Website

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