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'Burminggaon? Nottinggaon? Biradforrd?': British Asian Noir Depictions of Bradford

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JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Mar 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 10 Jul 2020
Issue number3
Volume56
Early online date10/07/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this article, I examine noir representations of ‘Biradforrd’, that important West Yorkshire city which, as one British-Punjabi character’s mispronunciation suggests, has been transformed by South Asian Muslim migration. I examine a trilogy: M. Y. Alam’s Bradford noir novels Annie Potts is Dead, Kilo and Red Laal (1998−2012), and a tetralogy: A. A. Dhand’s Streets of Darkness, Girl Zero, City of Sinners and One Way Out (2016−2019). These novels explore the biradari or kinship system evoked by Atia Hosain’s character in her neologism ‘Biradforrd’. They also focus, among other matters, on Bradford’s predominantly Mirpuri community from the Azad Kashmir region of northeast Pakistan. I argue that despite their different religious backgrounds, Alam and Dhand are both from the ‘myth of return’ class and portray from the inside Bradfordians’ ghettoized deprivation, drugs problem and vulnerability to racist and Islamophobic abuse.

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© 2020, The Author(s). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Bradford, noir, British Asian, crime fiction

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