October 21, 2011

Tear Gas and Petrol Bombs: Protests In Literature


Richard Wright once said, “All literature is protest,” but James Baldwin’s retort was that “All literature might be protest but all protest was not literature.”

Scores of Greeks have been taking to the streets to protest the austerity proposals during a 48-hour general strike, so we thought it as good a time as any to recall some key books that might fall under the label, “protest literature.” Such as …

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh

Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley

Lots of stuff by Nadine Gordimer

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

Last year, the Guardian wrote about “Ten of the best riots in literature.”

What books would you add to the list?