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  • Hand On The Sun: A passionate and powerful novel of race and class

    This was Tariq Mehmood’s first novel, published by Penguin Books in 1983, charting the experience of the second generation migrants to the UK. Set in the declining textile industry of the North of England, it is a raw story of pain and anger at the relentlessness of British racism, from the street to the state – a story of an unquenchable desire for justice, and reclaiming human dignity. A dignity that is wrapped around new questions of Identity, a crossroad between religion, language, history and resistance. It is a little big story, that talks to the extremities of social, political and literary issues today? Can stories of a generation be appropriated? How important is religion in identity? If all you have is a story to tell, who should you tell it? Are the issues of today, just the issues of today or can we learn something from the past? In these stories, friendship is not defined by religion or colour, but by humanity. And racism is much more than skin deep. It is an exhilarating read that bears witness to the urgent 80’s battles against state and popular racism. As important now as then. In this new edition, Mehmood provides a Foreword that describes how the novel came to be written and the lives of real people on whom the characters were created. In the Afterword, Mehmood revisits some of the characters who are now 40-years older, and reflects on how the book would have been written today where the conditions of mass mobilizations no longer exist in neoliberal Britain.