Compatriots or Competitors?

Welsh, Scottish, English and Northern Irish Writing and Brexit in Comparative Contexts

Author(s) Hywel Dix

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism, Politics

Series: Writing Wales in English

  • November 2022 · 352 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786839343
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786839350
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786839367

About The Book

This is the first comparative study of the distinctive literatures and cultures that have developed in Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland since political devolution in the late 1990s, especially surrounding Brexit. The book argues that in conceptualising their cultures as ‘national’, each nation is caught up in a creative tension between emulating forms of cultural production found in the others to assert common aspirations, and downplaying those connections in order to forge a sense of cultural distinctiveness. The author explores the resulting dilemmas, with chapters analysing the growth of the creative industries; the relationship between UK City of Culture and its forerunner, the European Capital of Culture; national book prizes in Britain and Europe; British variations on Nordic Noir TV; and the Brexit novel. With regard to separate cultural precursors and responses in each nation, Brexit itself is debated as a factor that has widened their differences, placing the future of the UK in question.


‘Hywel Dix’s Compatriots or Competitors offers an excellent addition to the growing field of academic writing on Brexit and its social and cultural impact on British society. It discusses big “national” issues – Britishness, and how it has changed over the years – while also looking at the wider international context and Britain’s perspectives on Europe, including Britain’s post-Brexit standing in Europe and beyond. This wide-ranging study takes in literature, film and broader popular culture, making it a valuable companion piece for anyone studying British politics as well as social or cultural history and literature of the last few decades.’

Dr Christine Berberich, University of Portsmouth


List of Illustrations
Introduction: Compatriots or Competitors?
Chapter 1: From Counter Culture to Creative Industries
Chapter 2: The Cultural Capital of Capitals of Culture
Chapter 3: Imaging Northern Europe: British Varieties of Nordic Noir
Chapter 4: Aspiration by Proxy: National Book Awards in International Markets
Chapter 5: Brexit and Beyond
Afterword: Brexit and Coronavirus

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Hywel Dix

Hywel Dix is Associate Professor of English at Bournemouth University. He has published extensively on the relationship between literature, culture and political change in contemporary Britain. His research interests include modern and contemporary literature, critical cultural theory, authorial careers and autofiction.

Read more