One of the most important facets of contemporary British fiction is the impact of writers whose backgrounds can be traced to parts of the world that were former colonies of Britain. In the late 1940s and 1950s the necessity to provide labour for a country recovering from war meant that many people from Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia were encouraged to move to the United Kingdom to work and settle. This group came to be known as the Windrush generation, due to the ship the Empire Windrush that brought some of the first of this new group of people to Britain when it landed at Tilbury Docks in 1948. Alongside many types of skilled and unskilled labour arriving at this time were a number of already published and budding writers who, because of the cultural mechanics of colonialism, saw Britain (and London in particular) as the place in which to pursue their literary careers. Writers such as E.R. Braithwaite, Kamau Brathwaite, Beryl Gilroy, George Lamming, Doris Lessing, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys and Samuel Selvon came to Britain during this period, many of whom recorded their experiences in fiction and memoirs that spoke both to the newly arrived immigrants and to the communities they had left behind, as well as to the established fiction-reading public in Britain.
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Dr. Nick Bentley
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