This chapter, which examines two novels about Irish construction workers in London, The Contractors (1994) by John B. Keane and I Could Read the Sky (1997) by Timothy O'Grady and Steve Pyke, shows how both novels draw on powerful discourses of exile and mythology to render differing experiences of the diasporic condition. These texts provide a rare insight into the lives and mindsets of a generation of men who, although a familiar sight on the streets and building sites of London, remained a hidden and somewhat mysterious sub-sector of the city's population in the post-war years. The analysis focuses on how the authors navigate the border between the facts and fictions of this specific migrant milieu, and how this, in turn, influences the identities of their subjects.
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