Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories

BookCommunities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories

Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories

Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines, 16


October 16th, 2019

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This book examines the representation of community in contemporary Anglophone Caribbean short stories, focusing on the most recent wave of Caribbean short story writers following the genre's revival in the mid 1980s. The first extended study of Caribbean short stories, it presents the phenomenon of interconnected stories as a significant feature of late twentieth and early twenty-first century Anglophone Caribbean literary cultures. It contends that the short story collection and cycle, literary forms regarded by genre theorists as necessarily concerned with representations of community, are particularly appropriate and enabling as a vehicle through which to conceptualise Caribbean communities. The book covers short story collections and cycles by Olive Senior, Earl Lovelace, Kwame Dawes, Alecia Mckenzie, Lawrence Scott, Mark Mcwatt, Robert Antoni and Dionne Brand. It argues that the form of interconnected stories is a crucial part of these writers' imagining of communities which may be fractured, plural and fraught with tensions, but which nevertheless hold together. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of community, bringing literary representations of community into dialogue with models of community developed in the field of Caribbean anthropology. The works analysed are set in Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana, and in several cases the setting extends to the Caribbean diaspora in Europe and North America. Looking in turn at rural, urban, national and global communities, the book draws attention to changing conceptions of community around the turn of the millennium.

• The book is the first monograph on Caribbean short stories • It is the first book-length study to directly address the subject of community in Anglophone Caribbean literature. • The book covers the work of eight critically acclaimed Caribbean writers. • Due to the centrality of short story writing to the development of a Caribbean literary tradition, the book offers readers an accessible introduction to the broader field of Caribbean literature and culture. • With its interdisciplinary approach, the book will appeal to Caribbeanists working in social science disciplines as well as those working in literary and cultural studies.


'Communities is thoroughly researched and well argued throughout. It benefits from extensive fieldwork and interviews with authors and best serves as a primer for students of Caribbean short fiction, and an introduction to Caribbean interdisciplinary studies.'
Janelle Rodriques, New West Indian Guide

'Evans’s analysis shows both tensions and connections between literary and anthropological representations in the examined texts, her discussion of ‘creolization' demonstrates how her selected texts negotiate differences beyond two apparently incompatible positions of either a focus on common values in a unifying society or the play of differences in a plural society.'
Melanie A. Murray, Journal of Postcolonial Writing

Author Information

Dr Lucy Evans is Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature in the School of English, University of Leicester.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. Rural Communities45
Olive Senior, Earl Lovelace and the short story form45
Village life in Olive Senior’s Summer Lightning and Other Stories57
From country to city in Earl Lovelace’s A Brief Conversion and Other Stories76
2. Urban Communities95
Downtown worlds100
Uptown worlds111
Writing Kingston in Kwame Dawes’ A Place to Hide and Other Stories and Alecia McKenzie’s Satellite City and Other Stories123
3. National Communities131
Fugal voices in Lawrence Scott’s Witchbroom136
The journey upriver in Mark McWatt’s Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement151
4. Global Communities166
The diasporic family in Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon170
Mobile readerships in Robert Antoni’s My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales190
Appendix I219
Appendix II220
Appendix III221