Caribbean Autobiography: Cultural Identity and Self-Representation

Overview

Despite the range and abundance of autobiographical writing from the Anglophone Caribbean, this book is the first to explore this literature fully. It covers works from the colonial era up to present-day AIDS memoirs and assesses the links between more familiar works by George Lamming, C. L. R. James, Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, and Jamaica Kincaid and less frequently cited works by the Hart sisters, Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, Claude McKay, Yseult Bridges, Jean Rhys, Anna ...

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Caribbean Autobiography: Cultural Identity and Self-Representation

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Overview

Despite the range and abundance of autobiographical writing from the Anglophone Caribbean, this book is the first to explore this literature fully. It covers works from the colonial era up to present-day AIDS memoirs and assesses the links between more familiar works by George Lamming, C. L. R. James, Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, and Jamaica Kincaid and less frequently cited works by the Hart sisters, Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, Claude McKay, Yseult Bridges, Jean Rhys, Anna Mahase, and Kamau Brathwaite.
    Sandra Pouchet Paquet charts the intersection of multiple, contradictory viewpoints of the colonial and postcolonial Caribbean, differing concepts of community and levels of social integration, and a persistent pattern of both resistance and accommodation within island states that were largely shaped by British colonial practice from the mid-seventeenth through the mid-twentieth century. The texts examined here reflect the entire range of autobiographical practice, including the slave narrative and testimonial, written and oral narratives, spiritual autobiographies, fiction, serial autobiography, verse, diaries and journals, elegy, and parody.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Truly breaks new ground in the field of Caribbean letters."—Carole Boyce Davies, Northwestern University

Booknews
The dozen chapters of this volume may be read independently; several are revised versions of articles published in the 1990s. Among the writers and writings analyzed for the temper of their autobiographical voice are V. S. Naipaul, Jamaica Kincaid, Kamau Brathwaite, Yseult Bridges, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay, and George Lamming, and the slave narrative of Mary Prince. The overarching themes in Paquet's analysis include gender, language, class, and colonialism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299176945
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 6/7/2002
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Pouchet Paquet is professor of English at the University of Miami and is the author of The Novels of George Lamming. She has been guest editor of the journals Callaloo and West Indian Literature. She was born in Trinidad.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
Pt. 1 Gender, Voice, ad Self-Representation 11
1 Testing and Testifying: The Hart Sisters 21
2 The Heartbeat of a West Indian Slave: The History of Mary Prince 28
3 The Enigma of Arrival: Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole 51
Pt. 2 The Estranging Sea 73
4 "The Traveling Ulysses Scene": Claude McKay's A Long Way from Home and My Green Hills of Jamaica 87
5 Blurred Genres, Blended Voices: George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin 111
6 Autobiographical Frameworks and Linked Discourses: George Lamming's The Pleasures of Exile and C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary 132
7 Poetic Autobiography; Derek Walcott's Another Life 154
Pt. 3 Birthrights and Legacies 175
8 Fragments of Epic Memory: V. S. Naipaul's Finding the Center and A Way in the World 183
9 Maternal Bonds: My Mother's Daughter: The Autobiography of Anna Mahase., Snr., 1899-1978 205
10 Colonist and Creole: Yseult Bridges's Child of the Tropics and Jean Rhys's Smile Please 214
Pt. 4 Autobiography, Elegy, and Gender Identification 227
11 Beyond Consolation: Kamau Brathwaite's The Zea Mexican Diary 233
12 Death and Sexuality: Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother 243
Conclusion 257
Notes 265
Bibliography 304
Index 321
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