chapter  5
21 Pages

Utopian Difference: Making Love

In Chapter 2, I examined the ways in which contemporary British authors critique the biological foundation of race, and as a result employ strategies of post-racial textualities that create characters and narrative voices that question racial classication. In Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (2002) the most powerful, humanising, post-racial representation comes in the form of the erotic connection between the mother and father of the family who live at number 19. This passage, which is the most sexual in the book, interrogates asexual representations of Asians, particularly Asian men, in contemporary culture (Sinwell 2014):

They will both drop their politeness and reserve to the oor with their clothes, he will close the curtains and she will unveil her body, she will stand against the wall with her arms raised high, waiting for him to drink in his ll of the sight of her, she will lick her ngers, each in turn, as though sharpening them, and then they will be together and the room will ll with movement and laughter and stied noises. The rustle and fall of bedclothes. Murmuring. A rip of cotton. A hand clapped over a mouth. (193)

The last line, especially, draws readers from the specic associations of Muslim culture with the modest, to a universalised immodesty – a bodily transgression, an erotic encounter – without racial or cultural reference point. Purely bodies, purely desire, the colour of skin ceases to be relevant. We are all, McGregor tells us, bodies of the same kind.