Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing

Overview

Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing uses a unique four-dimensional lens to frame questions of diaspora and gender in the writings of women from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti. These divergent and interconnected perspectives include violence, trauma, resistance, and expanded notions of Caribbean identity. In these writings, diaspora represents both a wound created by slavery and Indian indenture and the discursive praxis of defining new identities and cultural possibilities. ...

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Overview

Notions of Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing uses a unique four-dimensional lens to frame questions of diaspora and gender in the writings of women from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti. These divergent and interconnected perspectives include violence, trauma, resistance, and expanded notions of Caribbean identity. In these writings, diaspora represents both a wound created by slavery and Indian indenture and the discursive praxis of defining new identities and cultural possibilities. These framings of identity provide inclusive and complex readings of transcultural Caribbean diasporas, especially in terms of gender and minority cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For scholars and teachers of Caribbean diaspora studies, Mehta's study will be of interest both for its perceptive readings of key novels in the field and for its concerted realization of expanded notions of diaspora and Caribbean syncretism."—Clio 40:1

“Mehta provides an exciting new framework…her brilliant, richly textured analysis of texts by Maryse Condé, Edwidge Danticat, Laure Moutoussamy, Gisèle Pineau, and Evelyne Trouillot reveals a dialogue across generations and locations that is informed by memories of slavery and indenture. Unique, timely, and compelling—an indispensable addition to literary scholarship.”— Renée Larrier, author of Autofiction and Advocacy in the Francophone Caribbean

“I have heard Evelyne Trouillot beginning a lecture in Lima, Peru, by saying: ‘I am black, I am woman, and I am a Third World writer.’  Mehta’s book explores and explodes that triple enduring constitution of colonial subjects. Mehta, however, as well as the writers she analyzes, is not describing the laments of the victims but the triumphal march of Caribbean women writers and scholars, as Mehta herself, toward the growing global disavowal of the enduring naturalization of patriarchal and racist hierarchies of being and of enclosed religious and national subjectivities and rationalities. Integrated (and not a detached observer) to the novels she analyses, Mehta’s book is a signal de-colonial contribution of irresistible shifting processes to global reconfigurations of world order, illusionary geographies, and power relations. Sycorax here joins her son Caliban in shifting the geo- and bio-graphies of imperial reason.”— Walter D. Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies and Professor of Literature, Duke University

Notions of Identity, Diaspora and Gender in Caribbean Women's Writing is a welcome addition to the growing library of Caribbean/Diaspora Studies. While it deals with the difficult history of enslavement and resistance, ‘diasporic fractures’ as with ‘dyasporic trauma’ and the problematics of migration, it also offers a unique articulation of ‘culinary diasporas,’ always advancing the works of women writers from the Francophone Caribbean.”—Carole Boyce-Davies, Professor of Africana Studies and English, Cornell University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230618817
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brinda Mehta is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Mills College. She is the author of Rituals of Memory in Contemporary Arab Women’s Writing; Diasporic (Dis)locations: Indo-Caribbean Women Writers Negotiate the Kala Pani (winner of the Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Work in Caribbean Thought); and Corps infirme, corps infâme: la femme dans le roman balzacien. She is currently working on her fifth book, Creative Resistance: The Dissident Voices of Arab Women.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Diasporic Trajectories in Francophone Caribbean Women’s Writing
• Diasporic Fractures in Colonial Saint Domingue: From Enslavement to Resistance in Evelyne Trouillot’s Rosalie l’infâme
• Dyasporic Trauma, Memory, and Migration in Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker.
• Culinary Diasporas: Identity and the Transnational Geography of Food in Gisèle Pineau’s Un papillon dans la cité and L’Exil selon Julia.
• Diasporic Identity: Problematizing the Figure of the Dougla in Laure Moutoussamy’s Passerelle de vie and Maryse Condé’s La migration des coeurs.
• The Voice of Sycorax: Diasporic Maternal Thought
• Conclusion

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