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„I’m just a half-breed bastard”: Hybrid Identities in Alex Wheatle’s Brixton Rock (Birte Heidemann)

This essay sets out to discuss Alex Wheatle’s Brixton Rock (1999), a novel centred on sixteen-year-old Brenton Brown, who is of mixed-race decent and had to grow up without parents in a children’s home. Since he therefore lacks fundamental elements that form one’s identity, Brenton struggles to find a place or person to belong to. Even though he manages to finally meet his Jamaican-born mother and his half-sister, he continues his search for identity. As Brenton is neither fully black nor white, Wheatle turns to a notion of identity that is characterised by hybridity. Besides a biological notion, the term is used to describe everything about Brenton and might be understood as a space ‘in-between’ in which Brenton struggles to belong. In this context, the protagonist’s hybridity crosses issues like racism, family and adolescence. By using a postcolonial approach, the author's interest lies in discussing the above-mentioned aspects in order to analyse Brenton Brown’s ambiguous character.

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