On 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth ascended to the British throne and in turn, became Head of the Commonwealth. Over the next decade the Commonwealth grew to include the newly independent nations of Ghana, Nigeria, Cyprus, and Sierra Leone. Writers from across the Commonwealth were being regularly published in the English language. This resulted in an increased popularity of their books that reflected the increasing diversity of the United Kingdom in the post-war period.
Questions for your reading group
- What do you believe “home” means to the characters in your book(s) and how does it affect their actions?
- Many of the texts in this decade present a tussle between the past, the present and the future. How does this feature in the book(s) you have read?
- Some of these books are autobiographical, do you think it is important to know about the author’s own identity when reading a novel?
- The 1950s marked the start of the post-war era, how does your book explore a changing world?
- Inequality affects the lives of a lot of the characters in these books. What examples of this are there in the book(s) you have read?
- How does the language the writer uses make you think about the characters’ situations?
- What are the motivating forces of the protagonist in your book and how is that reflected in the world that they inhabit?
- What other books published between 1952-61 would you recommend?
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