In the Wake of Asbestos: Ship-building and Ship-breaking in Ross Raisin's Waterline and Tahmima Anam's The Bones of Grace

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Abstract

This article interprets Ross Raisin's Waterline and Tahmima Anam's The Bones of Grace and their invocation of Glasgow's ship-building and Chittagong's ship-breaking industries, respectively. The article addresses variations in the cost of work, social fragility, and health precarity across parallel postcolonial economies, which are illustrated by comparing the risks the ship workers face. Waterline and The Bones of Grace share an interest in the consequences of ship-building and ship-breaking, but they do not individually consider how these activities produce different risks depending on whether they take place in the Global North or the Global South. Preoccupied with their own immediate health concerns, the texts pay scant attention to shared risks that intersect across the life-cycle of ships. Reading the novels together demonstrates how each might supplement the other in attending to the health experiences of workers in ship construction and destruction, especially as they relate to asbestos exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-161
Number of pages23
Journalariel: A Review of International English Literature
Volume49
Issue number4
Early online date4 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • asbestos
  • tahmima anam
  • ross raisin
  • ship-building
  • ship-breaking

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