Calypso Magnolia: The Crosscurrents of Caribbean and Southern Literature

Calypso Magnolia: The Crosscurrents of Caribbean and Southern Literature

by John Wharton Lowe


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In this far-reaching literary history, John Wharton Lowe remakes the map of American culture by revealing the deep, persistent connections between the ideas and works produced by writers of the American South and the Caribbean. Lowe demonstrates that a tendency to separate literary canons by national and regional boundaries has led critics to ignore deep ties across highly permeable borders. Focusing on writers and literatures from the Deep South and Gulf states in relation to places including Mexico, Haiti, and Cuba, Lowe reconfigures the geography of southern literature as encompassing the "circumCaribbean," a dynamic framework within which to reconsider literary history, genre, and aesthetics.

Considering thematic concerns such as race, migration, forced exile, and colonial and postcolonial identity, Lowe contends that southern literature and culture have always transcended the physical and political boundaries of the American South. Lowe uses cross-cultural readings of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, including William Faulkner, Martin Delany, Zora Neale Hurston, George Lamming, Cristina Garcia, Edouard Glissant, and Madison Smartt Bell, among many others, to make his argument. These literary figures, Lowe argues, help us uncover new ways of thinking about the shared culture of the South and Caribbean while demonstrating that southern literature has roots even farther south than we realize.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469626208
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 03/07/2016
Series: New Directions in Southern Studies
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

John Wharton Lowe is the Barbara Methvin Professor of English at the University of Georgia.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The range of material that Lowe has found, absorbed, and put to use is startling--lost texts, unfamiliar critics, information so relevant one wonders why it seems so new. Without a doubt an excellent and important book.--Linda Wagner-Martin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Only John Wharton Lowe could have written such a magisterial and comprehensive literary study, one with an incredible historical and geographic sweep. This monumental book will change the way we think about the literary landscape of America and the Caribbean.--Keith Cartwright, University of North Florida

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