Exploring Care through Alan Bennett's The lady in the van: extending meanings, encountering otherness
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Background and Objectives: This article explores care relationships as they are represented within “The Lady in the Van,” a sequence of interconnected texts by English writer Alan Bennett. Research and Methods: By mainly taking the memoirs and film of the same title as primary sources, and in the light of key concepts related to care theory and aging studies, the article shows the extent to which Bennett goes beyond the accustomed portrayal of domestic relationships of care by placing himself as the protagonist of a narrative—and a relationship—in which caring for and about a complete stranger entails coming to terms with both social and personal issues. Discussion: The article examines the ways in which the relationship of care portrayed by Bennett entails exploring forms of Otherness that both caring and aging unveil, which are related to age, gender, and sexuality, and that in Bennett’s narrative end up favoring a dialogue of which the author himself is the main beneficiary.