Chapter 6 Somewhere between ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in France

In: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writers since 1945
Laura Reeck
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France provides an interesting case study with respect to migration and literature in that it has long been a host country to immigrants: its first waves of immigration in the nineteenth century were intra-European; its second waves from the mid-1950s forward were most significantly colonial, then postcolonial, and essentially African. However with virtually no immigrant literature to speak of from these first time periods, this chapter focuses specifically on postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing whose beginnings date to the early 1980s with beur literature by the sons and daughters of North African immigrants. Over time, both the groups of writers in this broad category and the field of scholarship on it have expanded and diversified. This chapter also highlights the tensions in falling between the ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’ designations and outside of the French literary establishment and university system as an object of study.

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