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Outsiders and Insiders

Perspectives of Third World Culture in British and Post-Colonial Fiction


Michael Harris

Writers who came to the Third World during the wave of British colonialism, such as H. Rider Haggard in South Africa, Rudyard Kipling in India, and Joyce Cary in Nigeria, describe the colonized country, culture, and people from a detached outsider's perspective. But recent indigenous, post-independence fiction, conceived as a response to the British portrayal, offers a contrasting, insider's view. Outsiders and Insiders pairs a British and an indigenous writer describing a particular region to examine the differing perspectives of the colonial outsider and the native insider. This study concentrates on five disparate regions - India, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and the West Indies - to see whether the colonial experience is one that has meaning globally or is country-specific.