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Challenging The Concept Of Foreignness

Erica Jarnes, a columnist at London Show Daily, has voiced her opinion on how the publishing world should adjust its view toward the idea of “foreignness” in a recent issue of the newspaper. She observes a certain paradox, by which there is “an idea of European countries as distinct entities, whose cultures and traditions we may understand or admire…”, but “on the other hand, citizens of these countries who come to live in the UK are called “immigrants”, defined primarily by a relationship to these shores.”

This creates an uncomfortable atmosphere, wherein the millions of Europeans who live in the UK and are avid readers in English are seemingly marginalized in favor of “real” Britons. Jarnes claims that “it’s time to acknowledge the connection between the Europe ‘out there’ and the Europeanness that is actually part of the evolving fabric of British society…this isn’t straightforward, but it’s essential”.

It turns out that there are already publishers working on this. Saqu Books publishes Muslim voices from the UK and elsewhere, in English and in translation. The Penguin Modern Poets series promotes contemporary international voices and their inter-connections. Media Diversified publishes journalism by BAME writers

Source: “Are you in or are you out?”, Erica Jarnes, London Show Daily, P.32

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