Communities in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Short Stories

Lucy Evans

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ISBN: 9781781381182

Publication: November 5, 2014

Series: Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines 16

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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.

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

Introduction 1: Rural Communities Olive Senior, Earl Lovelace and the short story form Village communities in Olive Senior’s Summer Lightning and Other Stories From country to city in Earl Lovelace’s A Brief Conversion and Other Stories 2: Urban Communities Downtown worlds Uptown worlds Writing Kingston in Kwame Dawes’ A Place to Hide and Other Stories and Alecia McKenzie’s Satellite City and Other Stories 3: National Communities Fugal voices in Lawrence Scott’s Witchbroom The journey upriver in Mark McWatt’s Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement 4: Global Communities The diasporic family in Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon Mobile readerships in Robert Antoni’s My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales Conclusion Appendices I: St Jerome in his Study II: At the Full and Change of the Moon family tree III: My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales front cover image Bibliography Index

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

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

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

240 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381182

Publication: November 5, 2014

Series: Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines 16

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