Black Aesthetics, Bernardine Evaristo, Black Literature, Contemporary British Literature, Paul C Taylor, Paul Gilroy


Black Aesthetics is the philosophical inquiry into the objects and practices of expressions coming from people who have been racialized as black. These expressive practices then lend to the creation of the life-worlds of people subjected to racist discourses. One such author in the contemporary English society, Bernadine Evaristo, responds to anti-black racist discourses by exploring the cultural plurality of British black life-worlds. This paper is a textual and formal analysis of two experimental novels of Evaristo to study how they distinctly present the quotidian lives of various characters in their racialised bodies to reflect on the sociocultural and political implications of living in an anti-black racist world. To do so, I will firstly discuss the theorisation of black aesthetics as provided by Paul C. Taylor and the sociocultural and literary formations of black subjecthood presented by Paul Gilroy in his theorisation of “the black Atlantic.” I will then argue through a close reading of Blonde Roots (2008) and Girl, Woman, Other (2019) that the literary practice of Evaristo uses different forms and themes to narrate black subjectivities, and thus create and maintain black life-worlds that challenge the existing racial formations in contemporary British society.

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