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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259–279
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020

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  • Bradford
  • noir
  • British Asian
  • crime fiction

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