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The Intended

Authors: David Dabydeen

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781845230135

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The narrator of The Intended is twelve when he leaves his village in rural Guyana to come to England. There he is abandoned into social care, but with determination seizes every opportunity to follow his aunt’s farewell advice: ‘…but you must tek education…pass plenty exam’. With a scholarship to Oxford, and an upper-class white fiancée, he has unquestionably arrived, but at the cost of ignoring the other part of his aunt’s farewell: ‘you is we, remember you is we.’

First published almost fifteen years ago, The Intended’s portrayal of the instability of identity and relations between whites, African-Caribbeans and Asians in South London is as contemporary and pertinent as ever. As an Indian from Guyana, the narrator is seen as a ‘Paki’ by the English, and as some mongrel hybrid by ‘real’ Asians from India and Pakistan; as sharing a common British ‘Blackness’ whilst acutely conscious of the real cultural divisions between Africans and Indians back in Guyana.

“Passionate and honest... A vivid attempt to come to terms with the pain of immigrant experience”
The Observer

David Dabydeen was born in Guyana. He has published six acclaimed novels and three collections of poetry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.
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