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Barry HinesKes, Threads and Beyond$
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David Forrest and Sue Vice

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992620

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992620.001.0001

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Imagining post-industrial Britain

Imagining post-industrial Britain

The Heart of It, the miners’ strike plays, Looking at the Sun, Shooting Stars, Born Kicking, Elvis Over England

(p.163) 4 Imagining post-industrial Britain
Barry Hines

David Forrest

Sue Vice

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores Hines’s conception of Britain after the miners’ strike, and the difficulty he experienced in fictionalising those divisive events. While his 1994 novel The Heart of It is a metafictional account of a writer’s coming retrospectively to understand the strike through his father’s experience, three plays Hines wrote about it remain in draft form and never appeared in the public realm. Both Shooting Stars (1990) and Born Kicking (1992), take unexpected views on Hines’s staple subject of football and its social role, in relation respectively to the effect of unexpected wealth on a working-class man, and what happens if the footballer is a woman. Elvis Over England (1998), Hines’s last published novel, is a road journey undertaken by an unemployed steelworker who starts to confront his past by means of Elvis’s songs. Although critics and Hines himself predicted that Elvis Over England would end up on the screen, it was never filmed.

Keywords:   Elvis Presley, De-industrialisation, The Miners’ Strike, Football

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