; LITERATURE AND GENTRIFICATION ON BRICK LANE
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LITERATURE AND GENTRIFICATION ON BRICK LANE

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Monica Ali's BricJ Lane (2003) was clearly the most visible.8 She received a sizable advance for the novel, it was on the best- sel 1er lists for nearly a year, the hardcover sold 150,000 copies, and it was nominated for all the major literary prizes.9 Meanwhile, provoked in part by these successes, a group of angry men who presented themselves as residents of the neighborhoods around the real Brick Lane, the high street of the Bangladeshi area of the East End, staged protests and wrote letters condemning the novel, declaring anger at Ali's depiction of the area, at her tenuous connection to it, and later at the prospect that their ward might be used to shoot the 2007 book-to-film project. [...] by taking issue with the nature of the novel's representation, and doing so both publicly and loudly, these community spokespeople used the Brick Lane controversy as a means of attracting attention to themselves as area leaders, delimiting community affiliation by designating insiders and outsiders, and attempting to constrain the nature, ownership, content, and meaning of the intellectual property that found its market footing in the uniqueness of its reference to the area.

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