Unfinished business David Peace and the 1984-5 miners’strike

Katy Shaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


In 2010, David Peace was invited to join a panel at the Digging The Seam conference at the University of Leeds to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. Exploring the role of literature during and after 84-5, the panel considered the function of writings authored by both strikers and established novelists in the years following the coal dispute. The panel discussion went on to form the basis of an email dialogue with David Peace, the results of which are featured here. Much like GB84 itself, this conversation is not intended as a final word on the strike. Rather, it is offered as an exploration of the motivations, challenges and implications of tackling such a contentious and disputed event in the novel form. There can be no definitive conclusions to the ongoing saga of writing and rewriting that surrounds the events of 1984-5. The debate does not abate. As Peace stated at the end of our correspondence: “the many spectres of the strike continue to haunt Britain and they continue to haunt me, too. And so the strike remains unfinished business”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigging the Seam: Popular Cultures of the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike
EditorsSimon Popple, David MacDonald
ISBN (Print)9781443840811
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Contemporary
  • Literature
  • fiction
  • novel
  • David Peace
  • 1984-5 Miners' Strike


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